Leicestershire primary schools #giveitup for Lent!

Maggie Mairura, Community Participation Coordinator shares some inventive ideas from primary schools in Leicestershire!

Many thanks to staff, parents and students at 3 Leicestershire schools for really getting involved in inventive ways this Lent in taking part in CAFOD Schools #giveitupchallenge.

The Chaplaincy Team at St. Peter’s Catholic Primary School, Earl Shilton, prepared and chopped vegetables donated by staff members in the school’s Prayer Room and then, with the permission of the school ‘s kitchen staff, Anita and Tracey, school Chaplain Jean Connor and her husband Mark cooked the soup, all 32 litres of it, ready for serving the next day during school lunchtime.

st peters

St Peter’s Earl Shilton

Pupils and staff paid £2.00 for a bowl of soup and a bread roll.  On the day the Chaplaincy Team sold £106.00 worth of soup.  More was sold to parents at the end of the school day and finally, they took what was left to an Evening of Reflection on the works of the Holy Spirit, a 6 week course led by  young people of the parish.  The Holy Spirit was truly at work as they sold the remaining containers of soup!  £154.00 in total, so with all donations being doubled by the UK Government this Lent, this makes it an amazing £308.00!

Jean said “We had a great time doing this and one Year One pupil declared it was the best soup she’d ever tasted!!  It is great for the whole school and parish to be able to support CAFOD’s work and giving us the opportunity to help people like Svondo and his friends in Zimbabwe!”

ctk obstacle

Sponsored Obstacle Course at Christ the King Leicester

In Leicester, Christ the King came up with two great sponsored events as part of the Lenten Fundraising for CAFOD.  3SN undertook a sponsored obstacle course!

Donate to CAFOD this Lent  



And then 6JB took part in a sponsored dance ‘busting some moves on the dance floor’ all afternoon!!!  I am guessing that more events are planned by other form groups!

ctk dance
6JB Sponsored Danc





Finally, St Charles in Measham organisesd a good school favourite – a non- school uniform day, but with a unique twist –  ‘Be a goodie, wear a hoodie’!It is truly inspiring and uplifting to see how our Catholic schools around the Diocese are engaging with this Lent’s #giveitup challenge.  And all donations will be doubled by the UK government.

st charles measham

‘Be a goodie, wear a hoodie’  at St Charles, Measham



We have a small but growing team of School Volunteers who have the pleasure and privilege of visiting our schools to present assemblies and to say thank you for all the hard work they have done to support CAFOD.  Have you got some time to offer to join us?

Be a CAFOD School Volunteer 



East Leake Catholic Women’s League host CAFOD evening

Thanks to the CWL of Our Lady of the Angels in East Leake for hosting a lovely evening last Thursday 22/2/18.   Even before I had left for the Philippines in June last year, Ann Sharpe had invited me to come and talk to them about it!


CAFOD supporters from East Leake, West Bridgford and Loughborough

They very generously opened the invitation to other local parishes and a posse from the CAFOD group of Holy Spirit West Bridgford joined us along with a couple of visitors from Loughborough.  About 20 people were there to hear about this year’s Family Fast Day.


It was also an opportunity for Tom Beall, our CAFOD Campaign Volunteer Coordinator to introduce himself. tom beall

Tom is also a CAFOD Climate Champion and volunteers with the National Trust at the Workhouse in Southwell , both organisations being part of the Climate Coalition .

Tom as Climate Champion

And so to my trip to the Philippines and sharing my experience of visiting and working with our partners NASSA/Caritas Philippines.  It was lovely to recount my visit to Batangas, a village in Sorsogon Diocese who were beneficiaries of CAFOD donations following Typhoon Melor in 2015.  New homes and new livelihoods were provided to families and as part of building resilience and sustainable livelihoods those who had received a pig then ‘passed on the gift’ when it had its first litter, giving a piglet to a neighbour.

Introducing our volunteers to Rosemarie, Conception, Anna and Medina

Introducing our volunteers to Rosemarie, Conception, Anna and Medina, Philippines July 2017

My favourite encounter was with a group of women from the village, who are part of the local committee and who were delighted to be introduced to some Nottingham Diocese volunteers in the photos I had taken with me.


Then of course, the case of the famous pig who became the star of one of our School Assemblies.  David Brinn, our national  schools volunteer programme coordinator, who travelled with me, on his return wrote a primary assembly based on our emergency work, using the story of the three pigs!   pig

Be a school volunteer and deliver this assembly?

Catherine, one of the visitors from West Bridgford said:  “it was a very interesting talk & my knowledge of the geography of the Philippines has certainly improved!  You got a very good attendance and it was good to meet Tom – a very impressive young man.”


Family Fast Day at the Cathedral

Thanks to Liz Doona, CAFOD parish volunteer at the Cathedral and the Women of St Barnabas for organising the Family Fast Day Soup Lunch on Friday 23/2/18

Soup and sandwiches were being served and all money raised going to CAFOD.  A tombola stall was also organised with a prize every time!

Lent Family Fast Day Soup Recipes


Over 50 people attended and the sum of £275 was raised.  As well as enjoying some lovely home made food and cakes, during the 2 hours in Cathedral Hall, I was able to give 3 brief presentations about the work of CAFOD and the work of our partners in Zimbabwe.

Fundraising for Lent Family Fast Day  

I look forward to welcoming the Women of St Barnabas to CAFOD Nottingham Volunteer Centre when the weather improves! Special thanks to my young assistant and sticker monitor!

DFID-Logo-example-1And as if by magic, this donation will be matched by the UK Government!

All donations made to CAFOD between 13/2 and 12/5, UKAid will double, to the sum of £5million