Young at heart 96 year old takes to the water!

They say that age is just a number, and according to 96 year old Mary Johnson, from St Dominic’s Parish in Huyton, this is most definitely the case!

A keen swimmer, Mary swam 22 lengths in support of this year’s Lent appeal for CAFOD.  She said, “I used to swim every day but now that I’m older, I swim twice a week!”

Mary gathered sponsorship from her parish, St Dominic’s, for her efforts and raised a fantastic £650.  The parish also held a tea party which raised an additional £250.

CAFOD’s Community Participation Coordinator, Colette Byrne, said, “What a fabulous achievement for Mary to be able to swim much further than a lot of people, including myself could, and at an incredible age!  She really is somebody to aspire to!’

‘We’re also delighted because the money she raised will be matched by the UK Government, so CAFOD are receiving double, which is phenomenal!’

CAFOD’s Lent appeal this year focussed on our work to combat malnutrition in Zimbabwe.  Hunger can kill children, but CAFOD is providing seeds, fencing and farming training for families and communities so that everyone has enough to eat.  With support like the fundraising from Mary, we are able to continue this fantastic work.


96 year old Mary swam 22 lengths for CAFOD


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.

St Gerard's spelling bee winners.png

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 


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