Are you interested in volunteering for CAFOD as a Communications Volunteer?

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Clare on Radio Gbarnga – reaching about 5000 people!

The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) is the official overseas development and humanitarian agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and part of Caritas International. Together with our partners we strive to reduce the impact of poverty, to address and challenge its root causes and to empower people to bring about change for themselves. We work with people of all faiths and none.

CAFOD’s Mission includes raising awareness and understanding of the causes of poverty and injustice to inspire a commitment to lasting change both within the Church and the wider community. This is achieved through working with the regional and social media.

The main aim of a Communications Volunteer is to increase the profile of the work of CAFOD in local areas and celebrate the involvement of its supporters and volunteers – in regional newspapers, radio, TV and online, in the diocesan press and website, through the local blog and through social media.

The Communications Volunteer will gather and coordinate information about the activities of parish groups, schools and individual supporters in their own parish, town and diocese across the region. They will then produce relevant materials for regional and online media and ensure this information is shared with their local team.

All volunteers should have an interest in media and communications and understand the importance of communicating about CAFOD to external audiences. The volunteer will need a good level of understanding of media and communications work, the relevant skills, enjoy and feel confident in talking to other volunteers and the media.

Come and join us , help make a real difference in the lives of the world’s poorest communities.   To read more please visit: or to apply, please telephone CAFOD Hexham & Newcastle Volunteer Centre on 0191 384 4847

CAFOD is the official development and relief agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Green Energy Talk On 4 July

Anthony meets Gap Year participants in Lancaster

Anthony meets Gap Year participants in Lancaster

On Friday 4 July we are delighted to have a Kenyan visitor to CAFOD Hexham & Newcastle. Anthony Mbandi is the director of Caritas Kitui and he is giving a talk at Newcastle University’s Agriculture Building between 3.00 and 4.00pm.

He will be speaking about the impact of clean, green energy on the people of Kitui and how over 1/4 million households now have access to electricity. Something that we take for granted. As the sun sets between 6.00 and 6.30pm every day (no long summer evenings near the Equator!) children had to do homework by paraffin lamps which are expensive to run, give off fumes and are dangerous. Now they have more time for homework and more time to play. Hospitals and clinics can now refrigerate medicines and vaccines, pumps draw life-giving water from wells and deliver it into villages and life is made a little easier.

Please come along to the Agriculture Building on the junction of St. Thomas Street and Kings Road, near to the Hamarket bus station.

Refreshments will be served after the talk.

There’s no charge and everyone is most welcome.

CAFOD Pilgrimage 2014

The setting sun over St. Cuthbert's Island, Lindisfarne.

The setting sun over St. Cuthbert’s Island, Lindisfarne.

On Saturday 5 July, we will hold our annual pilgrimage to Holy Island also known as Lindisfarne. At mid-day we will set off, like pilgrims have for over 1100 years, to walk across the sands to this other-worldly island. From the mainland side, there are poles sunk into the sand leading arrow-straight onto the island. Twice each day, the North Sea rushes in to cut off the island and flood the causeway and the sands. Safety refuges dot the route but as we’ve checked the tide times, we aren’t planning to use them.

It’ll still be wet, but all the better to plodge in. It’s a good idea to bring wellies (Izzy, one of our volunteers, always stands out in her bright pink ones!) but many cross barefoot. At various times on the way, we will stop to reflect on our theme. This year it is the “Legacy of Oscar Romero” and we are being joined by Bishop John Rawsthorne who visited El Salvador with many of the pilgrims a few months ago.

If walking isn’t your thing, we will follow the same pilgrimage at St. Aidan’s church on the Island.

After lunch, we’ll meet under the watchful gaze of St. Aidan’s statue (unless we have to use St. Mary’s church due to bad weather) for Mass at 2.30pm to be celebrated by Bishop Rawsthorne.

Then at 4.30pm, one of CAFOD’s partners in Kenya will speak about green energy and how this is transforming the lives of people in the Kitui area. Anthony Mbandi is Caritas Kitui’s Director and will also speak about “Hands On”, CAFOD’s latest project to help the people of Kitui to solve their problems with water supply. For more details, check here,

The causway is open until 7.30pm so there will be time for a wander around the Island if you wish before setting off for home.