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.

Jane Lavery – Volunteer Extraordinaire!

From time to time on our blog we like to celebrate some of our volunteers. Without volunteers CAFOD would not exist, most of our work at a local level is done by our extremely capable and generous team of volunteers.


This post is a chance to thank one particular volunteer, Jane. Jane is an extremely active volunteer who visits school to speak to the children about CAFOD’s work in communities overseas, and about how these young people can be part of CAFOD’s work for a more just world.

Over several years Jane has visited scores of schools to give assemblies or to take classroom sessions. Jane has given CAFOD inset training to teachers, and to training teachers. She has organised young leadership projects with small groups of pupils at several secondary schools. And she has led larger events bringing multiple schools together for a CAFOD experience.

Jane is also an active campaigner for CAFOD, she was part of the group who went to the COP21 talks in Paris last year.

One of the joys of working for CAFOD is the sense of enthusiasm which is carried by many of our volunteers, this enthusiasm is driven by a passion for justice and peace. As staff we are privileged and blessed to be able to work with volunteers like Jane and others.

If you are interested in volunteering for CAFOD email:

Newcastle under Lyme School raise over £500 to help villages in Uganda access clean water

Phil Mayland receiving the cheque for St Mary's

Phil Mayland receiving the cheque for St Mary’s

At the begining of term, Phil Mayland visited local school St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Newcastle under Lyme, to talk about CAFOD and has written this report about the school’s amazing fundraising. 


St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Newcastle under Lyme, have raised over £500 for CAFOD.

At the beginning of this term St Mary’s invited local CAFOD Schools Visitor Phil Mayland to deliver an assembly to the whole school on the Year of Mercy, and CAFOD’s work overseas, helping the most disadvantaged people in the world.

Find out more about CAFOD’s projects overseas

In response to this assembly the pupils and staff decided to raise funds for CAFOD. In particular, they were motivated by the Match Funding promised by the U.K. Government to give £1 for every £1 raised.

The school arranged raffles and had a non-uniform day. The staff organised a bread and soup lunch. Altogether St Mary’s raised £524.83. This amount is very generous as it was more than twice as much as previous fund raising appeals for CAFOD.

On Friday 13th May, Mr Mayland was invited to attend the school’s assembly. School Ambassadors Lottie and Ethan presented a cheque for £524.83 to Mr Mayland who received it on behalf of CAFOD. He thanked all the pupils and staff for their wonderful efforts.

Lottie said:

“When you raise money you feel happy because you are helping someone else”

Ethan said:

“Sometimes you feel sad to give your money away, but when you think it’s for the greater good it makes you feel better”.

This amount means, with match funding, St Mary’s have made it possible for CAFOD to receive over £1000 which will go towards their project in Uganda where CAFOD are working with partners Caritas Moroto to bring clean and safe water supplies to villages in the most remote areas of the country.

by Elizabeth Oxley and Phil Mayland