The gap year that has spent a decade changing the world
1 July 2019
Our Step into the Gap programme has a long history of making a change. Collectively, the scheme's volunteers have given nearly 100,000 hours towards helping others and devoted nearly 75 years to their faith.
This is definitely something to celebrate, so on 25 June volunteers from every year of the Step into the Gap programme came together at our headquarters in London to mark 10 years of the scheme.
"People often ask where the young people are in the Church and this programme encapsulates faith in practice."
Christine Allen, CAFOD Director
The event was attended by members of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, who were founding members of the programme, and CAFOD Director Christine Allen, who said:
“We all know the story of the mustard seed that grew from a tiny seed to provide for so many people – what amazing mustard seeds you are.
“People often ask where the young people are in the Church and this programme encapsulates faith in practice. It is such an important experience showing the caring and inspiring living church.”
A rich history
The Step into the Gap programme, which first began in 2009, involves young volunteers living and working in a UK community for a year and visiting a CAFOD project overseas, where they witness first-hand the impact donations from our supporters have on communities living in poverty.
For the last decade, Step into the Gap volunteers have lived in placements around the country – in university chaplaincies and youth ministry teams – teaching people about the work of CAFOD.
A bright future
Over the last 10 years, 74 young adults have taken part in the programme, which has helped them to learn new skills and develop leadership roles that have led to careers in teaching, politics and with charities.
Julia Corcoran, CAFOD's Leadership Development Coordinator, said: “Step into the Gap is a great programme. It allows young adults to become leaders in their local communities.
“Whilst on the programme, they’ve gained experience and developed skills that have helped them with the careers they have gone on to.
“They’ve visited CAFOD partners and come back to the UK inspired to share the work of CAFOD and inspired a generation to work for a more just world.”
Want to be part of the programme that is helping to change the world?
Applications are still open for this year’s programme, and we are encouraging young people who are looking for a new challenge and seeking to develop their faith to get involved.