Coronavirus Appeal: Together we are making a difference
24 June 2020
Since the launch of our Coronavirus Appeal, you’ve raised over £1 million to help communities in developing countries tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
This has meant we’ve been able to scale up our response, providing food and handwashing facilities to those who need it most.
None of this would have been possible without the amazing generosity of families across England and Wales. You’ve donated your time, energy and money to make a real difference. Here are some of our highlights so far.
Walking the equivalent of 10 marathons
Colin and Gabrielle Thorpe from Bognor Regis have completed the equivalent distance of 10 lockdown marathons - that’s over 300 miles in total on their daily walks, in aid of the global coronavirus response.
Colin said: “Since lockdown began, Gabrielle and I have both walked three to four miles every day, and have decided to turn this daily activity into a prayerful exercise and fundraiser to help CAFOD.” They’ve raised £410 so far on their daily rambles!
Completing a virtual pilgrimage
After her summer pilgrimage was cancelled, CAFOD volunteer Bernadette Goddard decided to complete the 480-mile journey around her local area. She hopes that this ambitious challenge will raise £480 for CAFOD - £1 for every mile walked.
“This summer I was supposed to be walking the Camino De Santiago, but as it was cancelled, I decided to do it virtually,” explained Bernadette. “I will now be walking 480 miles to raise money for a charity close to my heart, and the amazing work they are doing during this difficult time. Plus, it’s a good reason to get fit at the same time.”
Bernadette’s challenge is part of CAFOD’s Summer of Hope. The campaign aims to inspire the nation to remain hopeful this summer by recreating cancelled events, while also supporting communities in developing countries through fundraising.
Recreating a cancelled school trip
Despite lockdown, pupils from Our Lady of the Rosary in Manchester made it their mission to reach their school trip destination virtually. From 18 May to 19 June these wonderful pupils and their teachers walked, ran and cycled nearly 2,000 km to represent their journey from Manchester to Spain. So far they have raised £530.
Mrs Groves, a Year Three teacher at the school, helped to organise the challenge. She said:
“Sadly, our Year Six children were unable to take part in their visit to Ponteareas this year, so we thought together we could attempt a virtual trip.
"CAFOD is a very important charity that we always support at Our Lady of the Rosary, and we were confident that all our children and families could do this!”
Creating a garden cafe
Jacquelyn Williams and her husband Alan decided to get creative during lockdown by setting up their own garden cafe and donating what they would have spent on coffee to CAFOD's Coronavirus Appeal.
Jacquelyn, a CAFOD education volunteer, said: “Before the lockdown, we never really thought anything about going a few times a week for a quick coffee and cake, but since we’ve been in lockdown we realised how much we missed that experience. So we decided to recreate it in our own garden – and it’s been a real treat!"
Jacquelyn continued: “We wanted to do this challenge to show everyone how easy it is to fundraise and help others. It doesn’t have to be something big. A small gesture really can make a big difference.”
Holding a socially distanced summer lunch
After their annual charity summer lunch was cancelled due to lockdown restrictions, the St George’s CAFOD group in Norwich decided to get creative, cooking up ‘click and collect’ lunches for their socially distanced community.
Parish priest Fr Sean was first in line to collect his meal. He said:
“I’m so proud of the way St George's CAFOD group fundraise so creatively, not even letting lockdown get in the way. The idea of substituting what would have been a sit-down meal with takeaways is just one example.
“I'm so grateful for the way they continue to challenge all of us in the parish to keep the world's needy and poor in our hearts and minds.”
Connecting online with our global family
Reflecting on all the amazing fundraising events and challenges, Jo Kitterick, CAFOD’s Head of Fundraising and Participation, said:
“From donations like the astounding £200,000 gift from the company CPL Aromas, to parishes and schools getting involved in creative and fun ways for our Summer of Hope, to the individuals fundraising in quieter ways, I have been truly inspired to see so many stand in solidarity with communities overseas who face the devastating effects of coronavirus spreading.
“Local aid experts we are supporting across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East tell us that lockdown in their respective countries is pushing families to the brink.
"Thanks to the support of families from across England and Wales, our ability to scale up our support to some of the most vulnerable people is saving lives. As we begin to come out of lockdown here in the UK, we need to remember that the coronavirus pandemic isn’t over.
“As the crisis continues to worsen for our sisters and brothers around the world, we will need the continued support from communities across the UK to help families in developing countries not only survive, but to rebuild and heal.”