Having a ball at St Benedict’s Derby helps to make a difference

At the end of a busy school term, students at St Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy made time to celebrate in style. With the help of assistant chaplain, Francesca Chadwick, they organised a sixth form ball on December 19th to raise money for the CAFOD Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Appeal.

Anna, CAFOD Volunteer, with two of the night's DJs

Anna, CAFOD Volunteer, with two of the night’s DJs

 Pope Francis, urged us all to help our brothers and sisters in the Philippines through concrete means, as well as through prayer. The students wanted to express their heartfelt solidarity with those affected in a very practical way.

 The school hall was transformed ready for the ball with Brandon, Chinty and Timi providing the music. Chris helped run the raffle and enterprising students Joe Coyle and Andy Jackson sold t-shirts that Joe had designed especially for the occasion. Chaplain, Andy Clare, helped with refreshments. Local CAFOD volunteer, Anna Bourke, was invited along to give a short talk about how CAFOD is getting vital help to the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan and to explain the difference that the money raised by the ball would make.

 Typhoon Haiyan – one of the strongest ever to make landfall – swept across The Philippines on Friday 8 November, leaving a trail of massive destruction in its wake. Over 13 million people have had their lives torn apart. Power, transport and water systems have been severely disrupted. The people affected are still in great need of help clearing debris, restoring housing, safe water systems, access to health care and education as well as help with re-building livelihoods bringing hope for the future.

CAFOD partners Caritas Philippines and Catholic Relief Services continue to deliver aid to thousands of survivors working through local parishes. Church networks in the Philippines are extensive, and are proving crucial in getting aid to those who need it.

Father Alex Opiniano, from the parish of Santino in Tacloban, said: “The Church is a beacon amongst the broken ruins of our homes. People see priests and the Caritas volunteers distributing food and water.”

 Over 80 tickets for the ball were sold and, as well as having a great time, the students raised over £500 for CAFOD Philippines Appeal. Kate and Chris, Headgirl and Headboy, are really keen to continue finding ways to support the appeal once the new school term is underway.

 CAFOD Nottingham would like to say a huge thank you to Francesca, the students and all those involved in the St Benedict’s Ball. It was novel, yet enjoyable way, to offer support to the appeal. So far more than £170,000 has been raised for the CAFOD Typhoon Haiyan Appeal across the diocese.


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