Schoolchildren hold ‘spelling bee’ competition to fight hunger this Lent

Schoolchildren from a local Widnes school have transformed honey into money this Lent by holding a spelling bee competition to raise funds for the international development charity CAFOD.

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Year six classes from St Gerard’s Catholic Primary School, Widnes, created a buzz within school when they were sponsored to take part in the spelling bee in preparation for their upcoming SATs tests.

Pupils from St Gerard’s were tasked with spelling a number of challenging words, including: accommodate, mischievous, and parliament, in line with the National Curriculum spelling list.

The whole school supports CAFOD in different ways and, this year, children from year three classes completed a sponsored bleep test.

One eleven-year-old winner of the spelling bee said: “I am very that I won the Spelling Bee because I know we raised a lot of money for charity.”

This year, donations from the children at St Gerard’s and all others to CAFOD’s Lent Appeal will be doubled by the UK government up until 12 May, up to £5 million – meaning every donation will make double the difference.

Mr McCabe, a year six teacher at the school, said: “We work closely with CAFOD; they frequently visit our school to share the fantastic work that they do delivering aid to alleviate poverty in less-developed countries and to educate our children on the significance of helping others who are less fortunate.

“Our children understand the importance of charity and we will continue to raise money and support CAFOD in the future!”

CAFOD’s local representative in Widnes, Colette Byrne, added: “We are so grateful to the staff and children at St Gerard’s for their ongoing support! This is a F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C achievement for all of the children who took part!

“I’m delighted that the UK government is matching donations made by schools like St Gerard’s to CAFOD’s work, showing how important the money raised will be for some of the world’s poorest people.”

This Lent, CAFOD is working to combat malnutrition in Zimbabwe by providing seeds and farming training for families and communities so that everyone has enough to eat.

Donate to CAFOD’s Lent Appeal 


Bishop and schoolchildren add almost 400 miles to around the world charity challenge

Primary school children from a local Wavertree school raised over £1,000 when they teamed up with the auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool to join thousands of others to help complete a 24,900-mile walk around the world in solidarity with refugees.


On March 2, over 350 school children from Christ the King Catholic primary school were joined by Bishop Tom Williams to support the international development charity CAFOD by completing a one mile sponsored walk around their playground – contributing to the combined total of 3,358-miles already walked – as part of the Share the Journey campaign.

Walking almost 400-miles collectively, the staff and children at the school decided to continue with their walk despite the cold and wind as they knew that refugees and migrants had to travel much further and in much harsher conditions and circumstances than themselves.

Headteacher at Christ the King, Mrs Griffin, said: “Our families at Christ the King are very generous and always willing to help out where and when they can. The children have a great understanding of the work that CAFOD does and are always keen and ready to help those less fortunate than themselves.

“It was lovely to welcome Bishop Tom to our school on this day. He was able to say Mass, complete the sponsored walk and have a tour of the school with two of our school councillors. It was a great day for the whole school community.”


Bishop Tom with two Christ the King pupils

The group hopes their walk will raise awareness before world leaders meet on 19 September at the United Nations General Assembly in New York toreach two new agreements on protecting refugees and migrants.

Eleven-year-old Libby, who took part in the walk, added: “It was really nice to walk with my friends and talk about the different journeys we have been on. I raised money because I know it is important to help other people. I know how lucky I am and that I shouldn’t take things for granted.”

Last year, Pope Francis launched the Share the Journey campaign. Championed by international Catholic charities, the campaign hopes to encourage global leaders to act.

Groups across England and Wales are now urging Britain to play a leading role in the UN negotiations. CAFOD has launched a petition to the Prime Minister to ensure the UK takes a prominent lead at the assembly.

CAFOD’s local representative in Wavertree, Colette Byrne, said:  “We want to say a massive thank you to all of the children at Christ the King, and Bishop Tom for getting involved and showing his support to the campaign. Everyone came together and showed local leaders that protecting refugees and migrants is an important issue to their communities.

Share the Journey will deliver a powerful message to world leaders that we want new global agreements that ensure refugees and migrants can live fairly and with dignity.”

Find out how you can join the campaign 






Liverpool communities get creative for CAFOD this Lent.

This year people all over the Archdiocese of Liverpool have supported CAFOD’s Lent Appeal, and have raised an incredible amount of money through their creative ways of fundraising. Thank you to all who have helped to make a difference during this year’s Lent Appeal! These are just a few examples of what people have done to show their support!

St Julie’s High School in Woolton, built their own ‘Wall of Solidarity’, encouraging others to donate either £1 or a tinned good to take part in a 24 hour fast. Showing support to our brothers and sisters overseas, helping them combat hunger and malnutrition.

St JuliesA school girl from Crosby, has given up her lunch-time after reading a CAFOD leaflet and feeling inspired by what the international development charity does. Amy sells raffle tickets in order to raise money for CAFOD, further inspiring her peers to support the great work that is done here.

Our Lady of the Assumption parishioners, also held a soup lunch in their Romero Room, in show their support to CAFOD’s Lent Appeal. The Soup lunch was a success and brought the community together for an amazing cause! blog2303b

CAFOD’s project worker from Zimbabwe, Livison, also visited Liverpool to thank volunteers and share his own personal experience of malnutrition and hunger and how the work of CAFOD has truly helped in spreading awareness for those in need.

Livison said: “The people of Liverpool have been so welcoming and the prayers that they send over to Zimbabwe keep us strong.  Sometimes, at home, we wonder where to get the strength and motivation but the contribution of people from Liverpool keeps us motivated to make positive changes.”

livision et al

This year you can make double the difference. In an added boost, this year the UK government up until 12 May will double all donations to CAFOD’s Lent Appeal up to £5 million, meaning every donation will make double the difference.

Thank you to all those making a difference and don’t forget there is still time to donate!

Donate to CAFOD’s Lent Appeal here


St Aidan’s show their support for Fairtrade Fortnight

St Aidan’s Parish in Wigan, has hosted a successful coffee morning to show their support for Fairtrade Fortnight.

The event took place on March 2nd at St Aidan’s Parish. There was a selection of home-made cakes, tea and coffee to choose from, as well as a raffle and trade craft stall

The coffee morning welcomed all members of the public including parishioners and pupils from St Aidan’s Primary School. Local MP Yvonne Fovargue was at the event, as she is a great supporter of the group, attending the event every year.

The international development charity CAFOD is one of the founding members of the Fairtrade label, which ensures the world’s poorest growers and producers are able to earn a decent living and earn a premium they can put back into their communities.


The Parish, who had previously participated in a very successful Lent Fast Day, decided to continue fundraising and host the event to raise awareness of Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight, which takes place each year at the end of February, and the astounding work it does for those overseas in developing countries.

Event organiser, Pat Boyle said: “CAFOD are truly wonderful, I don’t know how people would survive without their work and support for those in need”.


 Find out more about CAFOD


Written by CAFOD volunteer Beth Crumpton



Woolton school build ‘wall of solidarity’ to support CAFOD appeal

Students from St Julie’s Catholic High School, Woolton, have added their names to their own ‘wall of solidarity’ to show their care to the communities CAFOD supports. The pupils participated in the Fast Day on February 23 to help them to understand the experiences that our sisters and brothers in developing countries face.

St JuliesAll year groups were invited to take part in the day’s events, with pupils fasting completely, feeding themselves for 24 hours on just £2 or donating tinned items of food, which were donated to the Micah food bank, formally known as Hope+ food bank.

The Fast Day was a massive success with over one-hundred pupils taking part throughout the whole school, which is a huge achievement.

Mr Anderson, from the school’s Chaplaincy, said: “St Julie’s have been strong supporters of CAFOD over the years and we’re proud to support the Family Fast Day campaign.

“We are very conscious of the work CAFOD do and want to strengthen their supporters throughout the school, by giving our pupils the chance to experience and understand the challenges communities overseas can face each day.  It’s great that they can make an active difference.”

CAFOD Liverpool’s, Ged Edwards, said: “It is amazing to see so many pupils get involved and show commitment to our brothers and sisters overseas”

Find out more about CAFOD