Eleanor Margetts, CAFOD gap year volunteer here in Cardiff, talks about her recent work experience to CAFOD’s head office in London.
So far through my 8 months working with CAFOD, I have been able to experience how the organisation works on both a local and an international level. Last week, I was given the amazing opportunity to see how it works at a national level through my week’s work experience at Romero House, CAFOD’s head office in London.
Since starting my gap year with CAFOD, I have become more and more interested in working in international development. I decided to do work experience at Romero House because I wanted a taste of how this type of work happens at a national level, and I wanted to better understand some of the processes that go behind the project-managing and decision-making surrounding how CAFOD uses the money donated by its supporters.
I arrived on the first day not sure what to expect, but excited to start. Ben Goulding, who helps to run the Step into the Gap programme, had organised a fantastic timetable that took me to most corners of the work that happens at Romero House.
It was difficult to keep up with the names of all the people I was introduced to! But I was given the chance to have chats with people from the Events team, the Media team, the Education team and the Campaigns team who all did an amazing job at outlining how they work in England and Wales; it gave me a real insight into the many different types of jobs in the charity sector. It was a far cry from my presumption that charity work centred either on digging wells in Africa or shaking collection tins at people in the street. There really are so many roles involved in operating an organisation such as CAFOD.
With every person I spoke to, I got more and more confused about which section I’d want to work in. Everybody sounded like they enjoyed their job so much, and each sounded so interesting. However, I had two conversations that particularly struck chords with me; one was with Claire Grant from the Humanitarian section, the other with Sonia Pritchard from the Gender team. Both of these roles were internationally focussed, and made me really think about how development work can be done from the UK, and how projects are designed and managed.
I learnt so much whilst on my placement, and I encourage anyone who gets the chance to visit Romero House to do so as it’s such an exciting and vibrant place to be! I really hope to spend some more time there in the future.