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.”


News from out Step into the Gap volunteers, Ciara & Kayleigh

Maggie Mairura  Community Participation Coordinator for CAFOD in Nottingham Diocese signposting to updates from our ‘Gappers’!………..

Step into the Gap, CAFOD’s gap year programme, is an opportunity for young people to volunteer in the UK, gain experience, develop leadership skills and visit CAFOD partners and the communities we work with.


Kayleigh, Ciara and Maggie at the Briars September 2017 

So for us here in Nottingham Diocese that means we benefit as for the last few years we have had 2 ‘Gappers’ based at the Briars Retreat Centre in Crich.

Find out more and apply here for this September


So Ciara, following in Bishop Patrick’s recent footsteps is visiting our partners in El Salvador and Nicaragua, whilst Kayleigh, is in Sierra Leone.


Making Romero Crosses 

They are keeping in touch via blogs and instagram and tweets etc etc!  So here are some links to recent updates from them both……….. enjoy!

El Salvador

Sierra Leone


CAFOD group in Eastwood celebrates 20 years!

Maggie Mairura, Community Participation Coordinator for CAFOD in Nottingham diocese writes……..

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of joining members of the CAFOD group of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire for their annual group dinner.  As well as buying the ingredients and cooking the food, they then donate money to CAFOD for the privilege of eating it! This is just one of many fundraising events they organise annually and they organise many events that involve the whole parish; creating opportunities to donate, campaign and pray, they also provide a valuable service to the parish, opportunities to socialise together.


Our Lady of Good Counsel, Eastwood – with some of the founding and current members of the CAFOD Group

Last evening was an opportunity for the group to socialise, as one of the founding mothers, Kath Butler, told me “we see it very much as a friendship group too and when  Liz Doona and I started it 20 years ago our children were older and we had more time to offer and so the CAFOD group began”   And now when parish events take place both her children and granchildren help with putting out the tables and chairs!

How can you volunteer with CAFOD?

Group members host garden parties, organise Fast Day lunches after Mass, hold quiz and musical evenings to name but a few.

The parish is also part of the CAFOD Connect2 scheme and have links with our partners in Ethiopia.  Last year Sophie Bray, a former Step into the Gap volunteer visited the parish for the Lent Lunch to tell them about her visit to Ethiopia.

Find out more about our Gap Year here

maria eastwood

Maria and one of her floral displays 

More recently Maria Kirk put on a floral display at Eastwood Town Council offices with all donations going to the Connect2 scheme.

As we talked and I learnt more about the many diverse talents of the group members (Gordon and Angela both contribute to Radio Nottingham’s Thought for the Day) we discussed the challenges of recruiting new members to continue the legacy another 20 years! So if you are reading this and live in Eastwood, go and introduce yourself to one of the group!

I have returned the invitation and the group will soon be visiting the Volunteer Centre and I also suggested that, as now they are in their next decade, they should visit Romero House in London.

If you want to know about CAFOD in Nottingham Diocese or you want to share what you, your school, your parish is doing, please do get in touch.