Please watch this wonderful message to all CAFOD volunteers from Geoff O’Donoghue, our Operations Director, made to mark Volunteers’ Week. It includes a short story from the Democratic Republic of Congo about the people who receive help from CAFOD being so keen to help others themselves.

<p><a href=”″>Thank You Message 2019</a> from <a href=””>CAFOD Volunteers</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>”>http://

<p><a href=”″>Thank You Message 2019</a> from <a href=””>CAFOD Volunteers</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>



We want to say a big THANK YOU to all our volunteers

Sarah O’Kane (left) with Sue Philippart

It’s volunteers week (1-7 June) and we want to say publicly how enormously grateful we are for all that YOU, our volunteers, do in our parishes and schools.  Without your prayers, support and commitment to CAFOD we could never achieve as much as we do.  You are invaluable! THANK YOU!

This week is an ideal opportunity to ask the question: “What is it that motivates you to volunteer for CAFOD?”

One of our wonderful volunteers is Sarah O’Kane who lives in Swansea.  Sarah is an invaluable part of our Education volunteer team covering the Menevia diocese.  She is also a parish volunteer at Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Mumbles. 

Sarah gave us her response:

 “I’m motivated by trying to act as Jesus would towards others.   I like fundraising for CAFOD because as an Agency it helps to make the world a fairer place.  I feel a sense of solidarity with those combatting enormous difficulties. 

 CAFOD helps people to help themselves e.g. setting up a struggling farmer with enough fish and tools to build a pond and start a fish farm.

I like the fact that CAFOD projects are sustainable because of the way they work with local partners who have the knowledge needed in setting up and maintaining a new venture. 

I like the way CAFOD works with people regardless of their beliefs. Continue reading

Campaigning in Cardiff and Menevia

Campaign co-ordinators -Paul, Stella (Menevia), John (Cardiff) and Therese (Herefordshire)

On Monday 22 May, our new Campaign co-ordinators met in the Cardiff Volunteer Centre to look at the new Power to Be campaign and how we would like more of our parish communities in Cardiff and Menevia to put their faith into action by getting involved in campaigning on behalf of the world’s poorest communities.

Stella Westmacott and her husband Paul, have a wealth of knowledge about environmental issues and based in the lovely parish of Holy Cross, Pontyberem near Carmarthen.  John Fellows is our go-to campaigner in the Metropolitan Cathedral in Cardiff where he is parishioner.

We are looking to get as many people as possible involved in CAFOD’s next week of action on climate change, coming up from 1- 9 July 2017.

We are here to help encourage and support people to organise local events during the week, and if possible, inviting their newly elected local MP to join them.

CAFOD exercises strong and transparent stewardship of your donations to ensure that the money reaches the communities in most need.

But campaigning is an intrinsic part of our work.  We need to raise awareness of the root cases of poverty and the structures that keep people in poverty.  Sadly climate change hit the world’s poorest communities first and hardest.

So we are looking for volunteers to help with the Power To Be campaign.  It’s a sad fact but one in six people in the world are still living without electricity. The hopes of millions of children are too often a distant dream.

Kieran O’Brien with Campaign co-ordinators

Here are the answers to many frequently asked questions.

There are many ways to get involved and Stella, John and Therese will be contacting parishes across the dioceses to ask if you can get involved.

If you would like more information before their call, then please get in touch.

The warming caused by huge consumption on the part of some rich countries has repercussions on the poorest areas of the world, especially Africa, where a rise in temperature, together with drought, has proved devastating for farming. Pope Francis (Laudato Si’ #51)


Creating beauty in Brecon

We’ve talked a lot about Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato si’ – on climate and justice which asks us all:

“to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home”

In the parish of St Michael in Brecon, parishioners really responded to Pope Francis’ call to action “to be protectors of God’s handiwork” which he says is essential to a life of virtue.  It’s not an optional nor a secondary aspect of our Christian experience (#217)

Continue reading

Volunteering with CAFOD in South Wales


Val in the office

One of our office volunteers in the Cardiff Office, Val Call told us about her volunteering experience and the reason why she volunteers.

CAFOD is a worthwhile charity and has always been a charity I have supported. I started volunteering in 2011 because I saw a notice on a church bulletin at St Joseph’s, Penarth. I am currently an office volunteer in the Cardiff Volunteer Centre and do a variety of activities, from database management to posting out letters. Continue reading

Volunteering in the Year of Mercy

UK - Southwark - Lampedusa Cross - Refugees - St George''s Cathedral - Leah Parker-Turnock.JPGCAFOD is a charity built upon the values and teachings of Catholic faith; volunteering with CAFOD can be an expression of faith, especially in the Year of Mercy. Elouise Hobbs reflects on these thoughts at the end of Volunteers Week.

During the Year of Mercy, I have been reflecting on the tireless work of our volunteers to change the lives of people who live in some of the poorest communities in the world. Our volunteers bridge the gap to help solve the poverty crisis’ by praying, acting and giving in so many different ways. Volunteers Week is a perfect time to say thank you and look at how the Jubilee of Mercy calls us to act.

Continue reading

My Volunteer Story

Roswitha_screen_grabRoswitha Davies has been volunteering in Cardiff and Hereford since 1985 and she has written a special report on her favourite memories of volunteering.

Friends and I started a CAFOD group in our parish, first to raise funds for CAFOD, but soon we started meeting on  Friday lunchtimes with our small children, for prayer, soup and bread, and we worked through CAFOD’s study guides  which were published alongside the campaigns.

The one I remember best was called: ‘Renewing the Earth’ which already then (30 years ago!) pointed out the links between our human activities and global warming, droughts, hunger and water poverty in parts of the world where CAFOD was working.

Learn about our latest campaign, One Climate, One World 

Continue reading

My Faith inspired me to volunteer

Sue Scanlon_Holy Family

Sue on a Schools Visit 

Sue Scanlon volunteers in the Cardiff Archdiocese and works in both Cardiff and Hereford. She has been an amazing volunteering force for over three decades and I spoke to her about her volunteering journey and why, being a volunteer now is just as important as it was when she began.

Learn more about the different volunteering roles 

“I have been volunteering intermittently since the 1980’s; at the moment I am a schools volunteer. In the past I have been involved with our parish CAFOD group, fundraising and promoting the campaigns.

Continue reading

Inspired by Ordinary People: Phil Barrett

IMG_7943Phil Barrett, 68, started volunteering with CAFOD over two years ago, working five days a week out of CAFOD’s Cardiff volunteer centre, covering the large area of South Wales and Herefordshire. His commitment to engaging parishes by looking at each area individually has taught us a new way of engaging with parishes and made hundreds more people aware of the work that CAFOD does. Phil who has sadly recently retired from volunteering with CAFOD talked to Community Participation Co-Ordinator in South Wales, Kieran O’Brian, about his about his volunteering experience.

Continue reading

To all our Volunteers: Thank you


Volunteers Campaigning

During National Volunteers’ Week, we are celebrating all our volunteers, thanking you for your time and passion and sharing stories of volunteers from all walks of life. The blogs will be updated everyday with stories from around the Diocese and news of what has been happening.

CAFOD is a charity which was born in 1960 when a small group of women volunteers who were members of the National Board of Catholic Women organised the first Family Fast Day on Friday, March 11, 1960.  Together, they raised £6,673 for the Dominica mother-and-baby unit. The next year, they held the appeal again and raised £32,000. The next year, CAFOD was officially registered as a charity and in 2012, CAFOD celebrated its 50th Birthday. Continue reading