CAFOD announces new gap year openings

CAFOD has just announced a new placement in their gap year programme in the South East and is welcoming applications from around the country.

Step into the gap

Could you spend a gap year with CAFOD?

Step into the Gap is an opportunity to volunteer in the UK, gain experience, develop leadership skills and visit an international CAFOD partner.

Learn more about gap year opportunities.

The scheme, which is open to 18-30-year-olds, gives participants the opportunity to live and work in a UK placement for an academic year whilst learning more about faith and social justice whilst inspiring others to make a difference.

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4 key tips for successful volunteering

Ahead of National Volunteer’s Week, we asked volunteers from across the North East for their key tips and tricks that they could give to others. Here they chat to media coordinator Katherine Binns about what they have learnt and what mistakes not to make:

  1. “Use familiar objects to help children understand your message or appeal” 
Jo woodhead

Jo giver her tip to help Schools volunteers

Jo Woodhead,  schools volunteer for the Leeds diocese, explains why using familiar objects works so well with children: “When I was giving a schools workshop on a famine campaign last year, I split the children into groups to represent continents and gave them each different amounts of bread rolls. I shared it out unequally to get the message across that many communities in Africa have very little to eat compared to us here in the UK. They understood almost instantly and started a discussion on what we could do to help. Remember though to explain what the bread is for before handing it out otherwise the students will have eaten it all before you have begun your workshop!”

2. “Always write down and reflect on what you did that worked well”

Danielle Storey 2

Danielle suggests how to talk to the CAFOD community

Danielle Story, Step into the Gap volunteer from the Hexham and Newcastle diocese, shares her tip on talking to members of the CAFOD community:Always do a fun but short icebreaker with any group you meet, you can use it to introduce the theme you are there to talk about. Also write down everything you’ve done after the talk or event so you can go back to it if you ever need to do something similar in another parish or to get more ideas and inspiration – I always forget what I’ve done otherwise and wouldn’t be able to improve as a volunteer!”

3. “Keep yourself up to date with CAFOD’s latest campaigns and appeals”

Liam Finn

Liam explains why doing your research is key

Liam Finn, UK News Officer and previous office volunteer for the Middlesbrough diocese, explains why researching before any event is key: “I’ve worked with CAFOD supporters across the country who have run races, walked on marches, or prayed on pilgrimages to support our appeals and campaigns – finding out their stories and telling them to a wider audience in newspapers, on radio and television, and in blogs and tweets. I would definitely say find out as much as you can about the different things that are going on in CAFOD – what we’re campaigning on or fundraising for. That way you know what to look for or talk about at every event.”

4. “Look at a story from a different angle”

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Joanne works in the Nottingham volunteer centre

Communications volunteer Joanne Hendrick, from the Nottingham diocese, explains how to write an engaging CAFOD blog post:I guess something I’ve always used from working in Communications, is not to just document an event for article verbatim, but make notes on the atmosphere too-it’s always helped me to make a piece of writing come alive!”

Find out how you can become a CAFOD volunteer

CAFOD’s Step into the Gap Placement Opportunities 2015 – 2016

Kieron carrying water

Step into the Gap placements 2015 – 2016

Description of placement opportunities below and brief answers to the following questions for each placement.
What will I be doing?
Where will I be living?
What specific interests, skills or experience will I need?

Good Shepherd Parish Pendle, near Burnley Lancashire
A parish in Salford Diocese made up of 3 Churches and working closely with the 3 parish schools.

What will I be doing?
Working in the parish and in one of the schools within the parish. Creating and leading prayer, delivering assemblies and curriculum passed workshops and sessions, working with parishioners in groups and individually, going on retreats, raising awareness about CAFOD.

Where will I be living?
With 2 other Step into the Gap volunteers in shared accommodation.

What specific interests, skills or experience will I need?
Open and practising faith; experience of working with children or young people; creativity; experience of varied prayer and worship.
Call Fr. Chris on 01282 863135

Just Youth, Salford, Manchester
Youth project run by the Spiritan Community

What will I be doing?
Working each week in a school, with young people and children on retreats, involvement in weekly youth club and support of asylum seekers.

Where will I be living?
In community with volunteers from the UK and overseas and members of the Spiritan community, in shared accommodation.

What specific interests, skills or experience will I need?
Interest in working with children or young people and in living with people from a variety of backgrounds.                         Call Matthew on 0161 792 4195

Newman University, Birmingham
Single campus University with 3,000 students and 21 subject areas.

What will I be doing?
Promoting global justice to students and staff in a Catholic University Chaplaincy team, as well as outreach within local CAFOD networks.

Where will I be living?
In halls of residence with students on campus.

What specific interests, skills or experience will I need?
Experience of studying at a university. Interest in and knowledge of international development and global justice issues. A willingness to share other people’s experience and respect alternate views.
Call Margaret Holland 0121-476-1181 ext 2473

St. Mary’s College, Blackpool
A mixed secondary school in Blackpool.

What will I be doing?                                                                                                                                                                   Working in the Chaplaincy team and each week in a feeder primary school. Creating and leading prayer, delivering assemblies, working with students in groups and individually, going on retreats, raising awareness about CAFOD.

Where will I be living?
With one other Step into the Gap volunteer in shared accommodation.

What specific interests, skills or experience will I need?
Open and practising faith; experience with youth groups; computer literacy and social media knowledge; creativity; experience of varied prayer and worship
call Simon Stewart on 01253-442-591

Youth Ministry Team, Consett, Near Durham
Youth Service for the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle

What will I be doing?
Working as part of a team with young people on residential retreats, schools missions, other Diocesan Youth events and festivals.

Where will I be living?
In community with about 10 other volunteers from the UK and overseas.

What specific interests, skills or experience will I need?
Desire to make social justices issues relevant to the lives of young people whilst growing in your own faith and passion for global justice.
Call Melany Francisco-Lawless on 01207-592-244