Step into the Gap is an opportunity to take a gap year where you make a difference by inspiring others to create a more just and peaceful world. The 10-month programme is for 18-30 year olds who want to spend a year in the service of others whilst also learning about themselves and the world we live in.
1. Developing Leadership skills
CAFOD hosts training sessions as a chance to develop your leadership skills. You will be able to put this into action in your local community when you organise events, lead sessions, deliver talks, write articles, and possibly even speak on local radio.
2. Get experience in a work environment
At the end of your year with CAFOD you will be equipped with valuable skills to take into the workplace. Our gap year volunteers have gone on to teach, gained internships in international development, become charity communication officers, policy interns, and some even now work at CAFOD! Where will you end up.
Sophie, who is originally from Manchester, has previously volunteered at CAFOD Salford, and we’re so happy to see her now embarking on the next stage of her journey as a Step into the Gap volunteer. Welcome, Sophie!
I’m Sophie Aulton, I am 22 and originally from Manchester. I will soon be starting my year at Leeds Trinity University as part of CAFODs Step into the Gap programme. I have spent the last year at Leeds University studying for my Masters in Global Development, before which I was at Keele University doing Philosophy and International Relations.
I had done a bit of volunteering for CAFOD in my free time at Salford and Leeds, which inspired me to apply for Step into the Gap, and become more involved in what CAFOD does.
By doing my placement at Leeds Trinity University, I hope to work with students on issues of social injustice, and help raise awareness of CAFODs work all over the world. I aim to show how much simple acts of giving, contacting your MP, or empowering people can have such a positive effect on people globally.
In this blog we hear from Sophie, one of Salford’s wonderful gappers, as she comes to the end of her year-long placement with CAFOD.
Talking at my local parish St.John Vianney in Blackpool.
“This year has been such an enjoyable and unforgettable year by far.
Volunteering for CAFOD has given me such wide perspective on life. I have developed my leadership skills and self confidence by campaigning for CAFOD and sharing the stories of the people I encountered overseas in Ethiopia. Being able to go overseas and see the work that CAFOD do has just been my highlight of the year and it has been a privilege to be able to tell people, especially CAFOD supporters, about it, letting them know that what they are doing is really making a positive difference to our brothers and sisters across the world.
I have become so close with the other gappers over the year, making strong relationships and unforgettable memories that I will treasure forever. This year has truly enriched me and guided me to what vocation I want to do in life. I am now off to Lancaster University to study Social Work.
Even though the Step into the Gap programme for this year is coming to an end, I will still continue to be a CAFOD Supporter, putting my faith into action for social justice.
I would like to thank CAFOD Salford for making me feel truly welcome and for all their dedication and hard work. I would also like to give a huge thank you to all the schools I have met through talking about my overseas visit.
I wish everyone reading this a lovely summer and may God bless you on your journey.”