On Wednesday 18th April, a group of sixth form students visited the headquarters of the charity CAFOD in central London to bring to a close their participation in the CAFOD Young Leader’s Course. It is the first time Saint Gregory’s, as a sixth form, have been involved in the course together with our Year 10s and it proved an overwhelmingly successful trip. Since the beginning of the year, seven sixth formers have been committed to campaigning and fundraising on behalf of the charity in St Gregory’s and the New Sixth, spreading the message of justice and peace whilst raising hundreds of pounds in the process. In return they have been enriched with leadership training focusing on improving their presentation techniques, communication, teamwork and confidence.

Wednesday was an opportunity to spend a final session with representatives from the other participating Catholic sixth forms in Clifton Diocese. The day began in prayer with a beautiful spoken word reflection titled ‘We have seen from the mountain top place’, reminding our willing young people that they have been ‘somebody’, not just a ‘body’, connected to so many like-minded others across the country determined to make a difference. The remainder of the day was made up of ice-breakers, reflections on their impact, presentations, a tour of Romero House (CAFOD HQ), a short walk as part of the new ‘Share the journey’ campaign and a presentation ceremony.

When presented with their certificates from CAFOD’s Operations Director, Geoff O’Donoghue, he told our young people their “effort and determination to make an impact is doing something special on the other side of the world. You are agents of change, connecting people from across the globe.” Before ending by encouraging them to “Stay with the process of change that they are a part of creating.”

One of our participants, Anna, said of the course, “The day in London was one filled with reflection of how far we’ve come as well as exciting opportunities for the future. The team dynamic was brilliant, and the leaders at the sessions were fantastic, we’d just like to thank them for all their hard work. We would highly recommend this to any aspiring students, especially those in the Year 10 course.”

Hopefully, some of those who were involved will continue to stand up against injustice, and be the strong leaders of tomorrow, full of empathy and Christian spirit that the world needs!

Mr M Robinson
Lay Chaplain