CAFOD joins DEC Coronavirus Appeal

CAFOD has joined forces with the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to help millions of vulnerable people, whose lives are at risk as the coronavirus pandemic spreads – and we are inviting communities and parishes across England and Wales to get involved.DEC Appeal photo

Donate to the DEC Coronavirus Appeal

CAFOD’s Director, Christine Allen, said:

“In the UK, our struggle against coronavirus has entered the next phase, but in many of the world’s poorest communities, the fight has only just begun.”

Millions of families living in crowded camps or makeshift shelters are having to face the coronavirus with little access to running water, soap, or medical aid. Families who have been forced to flee their homes in places like Syria, South Sudan, and the Democratic of Congo, are especially vulnerable.

Christine continued: “In many places around the world there are not enough hospital beds or supplies to treat everyone who falls ill. But promoting handwashing and providing personal protective equipment, health advice and food parcels can make a huge difference. We need your support to reach these communities and help people to cope as best they can when an outbreak of the virus strikes.”

Find out more about the DEC coronavirus appeal

CAFOD is already responding to the crisis.  Since launching its emergency appeal on 30 April, we have scaled up our support to local aid experts across the world. They are helping to provide food and improving handwashing and sanitation facilities.

freddie 3We have had an amazing response from communities across England and Wales and in our Diocese the response has been awesome! From Freddie aged 6 doing his first Half Marathon, Seminarians taking part in the 2.6challenge, 3 parishes have set up JustGiving pages and one our school Heads of RE is swimming 21 miles!

And now, we need your continued support during the DEC appeal to ensure that we can further scale up our support and make sure that no one is beyond the reach of the support they need.  Christine continued:

“It is critical that we act now to reach millions of vulnerable people who have lost everything and no longer have ways of coping.”

Donate now


Thinking of a Gap Year?

Step into the Gap is an opportunity to take a gap year where you make a difference by inspiring others to create a more just and peaceful world. The 10-month programme is for 18-30 year olds who want to spend a year in the service of others whilst also learning about themselves and the world we live in.

All the Gappers!

1) Developing Leadership skills
CAFOD hosts training sessions as a chance to develop your leadership skills. You will be able to put this into action in your local community when you organise events, lead sessions, deliver talks, write articles, and possibly even speak on local radio.
2) Get experience in a work environment
At the end of your year with CAFOD you will be equipped with valuable skills to take into the workplace. Our gap year volunteers have gone on to teach, gained internships in international development, become charity communication officers, policy interns, and some even now work at CAFOD! Where will you end up?
3) Empower and inspire future generations
You will be based on a placement in a youth retreat centre, school or university chaplaincy, and will spend your time interacting with children and young people. You’ll help them to learn about global issues and inspire them to take action. This is perfect experience if you want to work in teaching, chaplaincy or youth work, or just build your confidence more generally.
4) Grow your faith
Over the year, you will have the opportunity to explore and grow your faith. You can learn more about the Church’s teaching on key documents such as Laudato Si’. You don’t have to be Catholic to be part of the programme, but we expect you to have an understanding of the Catholic Church as you will be living in a Catholic community.
5) Get to meet like-minded people
Our past gappers look back on their year with fondness and part of the reason for that is the friends they have made as part of the year. Whether as part of your placement or as part of the Step into the Gap team, you will meet people who have similar interests to you and others who are interested in global justice and taking action.

Buckinghamshire nurse runs half marathon to raise funds the global coronavirus response

I wanted to share a story from our neighbouring Diocese of Northampton.  Marie Pennell, a haematology clinical nurse specialist from Princes Risborough, completed a half marathon to fundraise for the CAFOD coronavirus appeal . Marie completed her charity challenge on Saturday 23rd May.  Alan, Marie’s husband, acted as marshal and timekeeper.half marathon start

Marie said: “I have been prompted to do this as I am fortunate to work for the NHS and have seen the NHS working at its best during this difficult time. Here in the UK, we have received amazing support from the public and I am prompted to do my bit.”

Marie is a member of the CAFOD group in her parish, St Teresa in Princes Risborough. She regularly helps to organise fundraisers for the charity and every summer takes part in sponsored walks. Due to lockdown, Marie was unable to complete the walk this year, so she decided to organise her own sponsored fundraising challenge instead.

Marie continued: “The areas where CAFOD work are not so fortunate, and their weak healthcare systems are overwhelmed.

“CAFOD is currently helping with water, hygiene and sanitation programmes and supporting families where their livelihoods are threatened, like in places of extreme poverty and refugee camps.”

marathon half wayAs you know, we has recently launched an emergency coronavirus appeal and is scaling up its support for local aid experts around the world. These local experts are providing food to vulnerable families, as well as improving handwashing and sanitation facilities across communities.  CAFOD is also helping churches in developing countries use their networks to share hygiene messages through Catholic radio stations, and to produce posters in local dialects on infection prevention.

Donate to Marie’s challenge at


 and find out more about CAFOD’s work at