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.”
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.