CAFOD welcomes new Step into the Gap volunteers

13 September 2019

CAFOD volunteers Daisy, Francis and Orla are taking part in Step into the Gap.

CAFOD volunteers Daisy, Francis and Orla are taking part in Step into the Gap. 

We’d like to introduce and welcome the new team of CAFOD gap year volunteers as they settle into their placements. Read on to find out a little bit about the 2019/2020 team as they gear up for a year ahead.

Daisy Wedge

Daisy Wedge is going to be based at St Mary’s in Blackpool.

Daisy Wedge is going to be based at St Mary’s in Blackpool. 

Hi, my name is Daisy, I’m 22 years old and from Brighton. I’m excited to start my placement at St Mary’s in Blackpool.

My first experience with CAFOD was in 2015 when a group from my university chaplaincy went on the Mass Climate March in London, and I heard about the One World Campaign, to raise awareness of climate change and fight for climate justice. I still think that climate action is one of the most important causes today.

Explore CAFOD's education resources

I decided to apply for Step into the Gap after hearing so many exciting things about the programme from friends who have done it before. I feel like I want to make the world a better place, and that this year will give me the skillset, opportunities, and confidence I need to do so. Everything I’ve learned so far about CAFOD’s work has been nothing short of inspiring, and I’m looking forward to the year ahead.

Hugh Cafferky

Hugh will be volunteering at the De La Salle retreat centre, St. Cassian’s, Kintbury, which is within the Portsmouth Diocese.

Hugh will be volunteering at the De La Salle retreat centre, St. Cassian’s, Kintbury, which is within the Portsmouth Diocese. 

Hi, my name is Hugh. I am 20 years old from Derby. Over the coming year, I will be volunteering for a second year at the De La Salle retreat centre, St. Cassian’s, Kintbury, which is within the Portsmouth Diocese. I have been aware of CAFOD and its work from a young age through my local parish and school.

However, in my first year of volunteering in youth ministry my passion for justice and putting my faith into action has grown even stronger. Through a previous gap year volunteer I have worked with and in researching more into CAFOD I became very inspired and I felt compelled to apply for the Step into the Gap programme. I’m really looking forward to the year ahead and excited to witness first-hand more of the incredible work that CAFOD does around the world, our common home.

My desire is to make a real difference in the world to inspire others and young people who come on retreat to get involved in CAFOD and to know that together, great things are possible.

Find out how you can get involved with campaigning

I joined the programme as I aspire to help others in the wider world and to have the opportunity as St. Oscar Romero states ‘to be God’s microphone.’ This is united with the passion I have with the varied work that CAFOD does and how I wish to be thoroughly engaged with it. Through this, I hope to live out the CAFOD values through my personal life and through those I meet.

I feel that the programme will deepen my faith, my awareness of the world and how people’s lives will be transformed by the prayer and action of CAFOD and their partners. To strive for a world where no one is beyond reach, to pray for our global brothers and sisters, to take action in whatever way I can and to show Christ’s call to love.

CAFOD and its work is always a constant inspiration to me and will continue to be throughout my whole life.

Orla Tanner

Orla will be spending the next year volunteering at Walsingham House in the Brentwood Diocese.

Orla will be spending the next year volunteering at Walsingham House in the Brentwood Diocese. 

Hello! I’m Orla and I’m 18 years old from Romford in Essex. I will be spending the next year volunteering at Walsingham House in the Brentwood diocese which is retreat centre that works with young people from Essex and East London.

I have been familiar with CAFOD from a young age, however, it was only once I spent a week at the CAFOD head office that I was able to truly see the amazing work that CAFOD does internationally. This spurred me to apply for the Step into the Gap program and I’m really excited for the year ahead.

Learn more about the Step into the Gap programme

The year will give me the opportunity to grow my own faith, while also spreading the unbelievable work that CAFOD does to the young people of the Brentwood Diocese. I find that sometimes, making a real difference in the world can seem so difficult and almost impossible, but having the chance to see the work that CAFOD does first hand will be incredible, and inspire me for the rest of my life. I believe that striving for global justice is an integral part of faith, and the Step into the Gap programme will allow me to have my part in reaching it and help other young people have their part in reaching it too.

Francis Romano

Francis Romano will be based at St Mary’s Academy in Blackpool.

Francis Romano will be based at St Mary’s Academy in Blackpool. 

Hi, my name is Francis. I am 18 and I’m taking a Step into the Gap placement at St Mary’s Academy in Blackpool. I come from Headcorn, a village in the South East, Southwark Diocese. 

I decided to take a gap year while doing my A levels, realising that the sort of education I wanted couldn’t just come from books, but required engaging with the world. Among the organisations and options, I found searching for a gap year placement, CAFOD’s Step into the Gap programme stood out. The focus on global justice and opportunity to explore my faith offered more than traditional programmes. 

I’ve always seen faith in the abstract, as a quality or characteristic that you can possess in greater or lesser amounts. Having seen the work CAFOD does, I now believe that it is more like a verb. Faith comes in conferring dignity to others, in active participation with a shared tradition. The work of CAFOD partners, to protect and expand human rights, for example, is faith exemplified. It was this work that inspired me to join the scheme, to do my own small part in participating in faith.

There are CAFOD volunteers in parishes across the UK - can your parish get involved?

For me, confronting the threats facing us - climate change and the dehumanisation that fuels suffering across the world, seems like an impossible task. As individuals, it is. But by doing our part within a wider effort, I believe we can transform the systems that underpin injustice. Global justice is a fight which defines our faith, as St Oscar Romero demonstrated, so I am excited to engage with it through the course of my placement. 

I’m looking forward to the coming year and all the experiences it will bring. The overseas visit especially, it is going to be such a privilege to both see the work CAFOD does first hand and to participate myself.

Rebecca Maxwell

Rebecca Maxwell will be starting the Step Into the Gap programme at Castlerigg in the Lake District.

Rebecca Maxwell will be starting the Step Into the Gap programme at Castlerigg in the Lake District. 

Hi! My name is Rebecca, I am from Harrogate in North Yorkshire. I’ll be starting the Step into the Gap programme at Castlerigg in the Lake District soon!  

I am really excited to get to know the community at Castlerigg and start on the work for CAFOD there as well! I have just graduated from Exeter University, studying Theology and Religion, and wanted to put what I have learnt about my faith into action.

I also loved being a part of the Theology and Catholic society at University, so am really keen to see what the next community can bring to my faith. Thinking about plans for after University was very straightforward once I found out about the Step into the Gap programme! 

Being able to co-operate with CAFOD, living out their mission and raising awareness of it for a whole year sounded incredible and I am so excited to start! 

Something that really stood out to me was the time spent overseas, working with CAFOD’s partners.

Find out more about where CAFOD works

It is something I have not done before, so I am extremely grateful that I will have the chance to experience first-hand the impact that CAFOD has and be a part of making it happen!!  

Step Into the Gap will also allow me to learn more about CAFOD, and help fulfil the aim of achieving global justice, aiding people and the environment. I always appreciate seeing and helping with the bigger picture if I can, so I am pleased that I will have the opportunity to do that with the programme, co-operating with others to achieve CAFOD’s vision. 

Reading about CAFOD’s work and aims immediately made me excited to apply and I cannot wait to get started living them out at Catlerigg too!  

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