To celebrate National Volunteers Week, the Hallam blog is being taken over today by 10 year-old Florence, CAFOD’s youngest parish volunteer from Rotherham. Here she tells us how her journey with CAFOD began.
“My name is Florence I am ten years old and I am a parish volunteer.
Last November I was at mass and I was listening to Father Des’s homily. He was explaining about a group of people who as a thank you present bought a goat from the CAFOD World Gifts Scheme and named it after him. I thought it was an awesome idea. I really wanted to help people who didn’t have what I’ve got.
That’s when I first heard about being a CAFOD parish volunteer. It sounded really exciting and I though that was something I could do. I am really young compared to the older people in the CAFOD parish group but they were so pleased that I wanted to join as not many children take interest in this sort of thing. They let me speak at my parish twice about the CAFOD Lenten appeal this month as I thought the parish would listen to someone younger like me.
I then decided to take the next step and fundraise for CAFOD to buy some of their World Gifts. At Christmas I asked my friends at school to make a cash donation instead of sending Christmas cards to each other. I made a speech in Mass and told the parishioners I would be selling raffle tickets and the winner of the raffle would choose the animals we bought and name them. Everyone at school and in my parish joined in and it was so successful we raised enough money to buy two goats and a piglet. We now have Kathleen and Rosie the goats and Maisey the piglet.
I was so pleased I started to think what else I could do. After Easter I asked Mrs Thomas my headmistress if I could organise a sponsored run she said I could so I started to plan it. I started with foundation and handed the sponsor sheets out. Monday morning 1st break foundation pupils ran 2 lengths of the playground. Monday afternoon break Year 1 ran 3 lengths of the playground. I did this all week until all the years had taken part in it. Everybody was so kind and the total raised was £320. I asked some of the children what they wanted to get in particular. Some of the gifts were: a school starter pack, a donkey, a pig that keeps providing and teaching children how to read.
At St. Mary’s we are working hard to be a Rights Respecting school. I’m on the steering group and I believe everyone has the right to clean water, nutritious food and a clean and safe environment to live in. I am now in my second year as a parish volunteer and I hope to speak at Mass again.
If you have any ideas on how to to volunteer for CAFOD, just go for it. I’m pleased I did it.”