School Volunteers gather for Summer term Refresher

On Monday 8 May, our lovely team of School Volunteers across Birmingham Archdiocese gathered for our Summer Term Refresher.

It was a pleasure to be joined by Gemma Salter, from our Education Team, who helped unpack some of our Summer Term assemblies and workshops for primary and secondary schools.

These included assemblies and workshops on our Power to be campaign. We got hands on and created our own sun of messages calling on the World Bank to support local, renewable energy so that children everywhere have the power to achieve great things and lift themselves out of poverty.

SV Summer Refresher- use

Our Birmingham Archdiocesan team of School Volunteers with their ‘Power to be’ sun

We also heard a moving account of the impact of climate change and CAFOD’s work in Cambodia from our Step into the Gap Volunteer, Charlotte Bray’s, recent visit.

Thank-you very much to all who joined us, for your energy and enthusiasm and for being such a great inspiration to children and young people across our Archdiocese.

Would you like to join our School Volunteer team?

We’d be delighted to hear from you at or on 01922 722 944.

St Dunstan’s Youth Group- an evening of climate change challenges!

On Friday, 22nd May, 27 children from St Dunstan’s Youth Group, Kings Heath gathered for an evening full of climate change challenges in line with CAFOD’s latest campaign One Climate One World. Climate change is the greatest threat to alleviating poverty that exists today.

   From Zimbabwe…

CAFOD Gap Year volunteer and Newman University Chaplaincy assistant, Lizzie Wignall, shared stories of climate change from Zimbabwe. In January, Lizzie spent three weeks visiting partner projects in Zimbabwe as part of her Step into the Gap year.

The group learnt all about the life-transforming solar-powered piped water scheme in Lubu village. As one villager told us: ‘the children have time to be children instead of helping collect water.’

Traditionally, women would walk barefront down a steep, rocky hillside to collect water from a crocodile-infested river and return with 20l of water in their hands, a further 5l in each hand and often a baby on their backs. Now, through harnessing Zimbabwe’s abundant solar energy, the villagers can access clean water from a tap in their homesteads.

St Dunstans 1

St Dunstans 1Solar-powered piped water scheme in Lubu, Zimbabwe with the slogan: ‘Water is Life: Safe Water, Life in Abundance’

The group also discovered how Nenyere Day Care Centre is reusing discarded materials to create models in their art and craft lessons and play sessions. Nenyere Nursey for 4-6 year olds is located in a deprived and overcrowded suburb of Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare, and provides a safe and nurturing environment of education and care to vulnerable children, many of whom have parents affected by HIV and AIDS.

St Dunstans 1

St Dunstans 2Children enjoying outdoor games in Nenyere Day Care Centre, Zimbabwe and their truck models crafted by reusing discarded litter

…to St Dunstan’s!

It was then time for St Dunstan’s Youth Group to go green! First, they tackled the water obstacle course to reflect on using water resourcefully and conservatively.  After navigating the limbo whilst balancing beakers of water on rackets, the team to transfer the largest volume of water won!

st dun

Filling the beakers of water…

St 1                                                                   …balancing them under the limbo…

s 1

…and gripping them between two cooking spatulas- no easy feat!

   Secondly, inspired by the Nenyere Day Care Centre, the children reused household litter to create junk models. Here are a couple of their brilliant creations!Publication1             From cereal boxes to a dog!                


  From kitchen roll tubes to a factory!

The Holy Spirit and Creation- Global gifts!

As it was the Friday preceding Pentecost, the group reflected on the Holy Spirit and Creation as gifts for everyone everywhere to enjoy. The group created a  flame collage displaying using the gifts of the Holy Spirit to guide us in God’s work and left with pledge cards of environmentally-friendly actions they’d like to take at home and school over the next few weeks to protect our planet for all to enjoy.

Lizzie would like to thank all who attended for a brilliant evening and all helpers and parents for their support of the session.

By Lizzie