CAFOD volunteer nominated for Pride of Britain award

1 October 2019

Former teacher Brian Bennion has helped Holy Family College, Heywood, raise over £40,000 for CAFOD.

Former teacher Brian Bennion (back row, centre) has helped Holy Family College, Heywood, raise over £40,000 for CAFOD. 

Former Catholic school teacher Brian Bennion has been nominated for a Pride of Britain award after helping to fundraise thousands for communities living in poverty.

Working alongside students, teachers and parents at Holy Family RC and CE College in Heywood, Brian has helped to raise more than £40,000 for CAFOD over the last 40 years.

The former teacher, who originally founded the CAFOD group at Holy Family College in 1976, has been a crucial part of the fundraising. 

Every day after school he helps to lead the daily collections and has also helped to organise the annual fundraisers during Harvest. These fundraisers help bring the whole school together as everyone pitches in for the Family Fast Day meal and soup kitchen.

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"It wouldn't be possible without the students" 

“The children are fantastic,” said Brian. “They understand completely what CAFOD is trying to achieve and support this, trying to help the people they know need their help. If it wasn’t for them, the group wouldn’t have been going for 40 years!”

The CAFOD group meets once every two weeks and comprises as many as 25 students aged between 11 and 16.

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Over the years, in addition to fundraising, the students have even been visited by overseas speakers from countries like Nigeria, Uganda and Albania, who Brian says reinforce CAFOD’s message and deepen their understanding of issues affecting people around the world.

Empowering young people to help others 

For Brian, it’s all about empowering young people to act to help others.

“It’s all about facilitating the young people and enabling them to achieve,” he continued. “I see parents who I taught years ago who ask me, ‘are you still doing CAFOD?’ and it just shows that people remember the impact years later.”

Find out how you can help communities around the world

Brian and the school’s fundraising for CAFOD go towards helping communities around the world gain the tools, skills and knowledge to lift themselves out of poverty.

A real inspiration 

Ann Wilson, CAFOD’s local representative in Salford, said:

“Brian has been supporting CAFOD since the 1970s and has raised thousands of pounds in the school where he taught. He is a superb man, whose generosity and commitment has undoubtedly helped hundreds of people.   

“The nomination for the award is a brilliant achievement for both Brian and all of the students who have been a part of the CAFOD group over the years. We’re very grateful.”

Watch a video about Brian on ITV News

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