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.
Step into the Gap volunteer, Lizzie, who is currently volunteering at Just Youth, reflects on her recent trip to Cambodia and how it has inspired questions for her parliamentary candidates.
Lizzie (right) met her MP in October
On 18th April, Theresa May called a General Election. This was immediately followed by campaigning and manifestos, news reports and social media posts. The topics that got us all talking were Brexit, a term we have come to use on a daily basis, the NHS and education. During this time, one thing struck me: we are incredibly inward facing.
Don’t get me wrong, these are extremely important issues that any government needs to address, however as a nation we also have a duty to our brothers and sisters across the world, not just across the street. CAFOD supporters have shown time and time again this truth. Through campaigns and appeals, CAFOD has joined with other UK-based development agencies to show not only the government, but also the rest of the world, that we care for our common home and those we share it with.
Lizzie is one of our Step Into The Gap volunteers based at Just Youth in Salford and has recently returned from her overseas visit to Cambodia.
Nearly two months after we returned from visiting CAFOD partners in Cambodia, there have been so many opportunities to share our experiences. We met with some of the most inspiring people, both partner staff and community members, whose stories it is a privilege to share with CAFOD supporters back here in England and Wales.
Once we had returned, the whole Step into the Gap team met together for a weekend of reflection, both individually, in our travel teams and as a whole group. One of the
Lizzie spoke at Mass in parishes around Salford for Lent Fast Day.
things I took most from this was the idea of not just meeting people, but sharing an encounter with them. The idea of having a deeper connection with others is something that we held at the heart of our time in Cambodia; sharing an encounter with everyone I meet back in the UK is something I wish to continue as it forms a relationship between two strangers in a way that a simple conversation doesn’t.