Parishioners and pupils in the Hallam Diocese have raised an astounding £20,000 for CAFOD’s Lenten appeal. Catholics across the UK were asked to help ‘turn on the taps’ throughout Lent in a bid to provide clean and safe water for those who live without this vital resource.
CAFOD volunteer, Grazyna Swales, who is a parishioner of St Francis, Crosspool, Sheffield once again organised the St Francis Dance Group’s annual dance show to raise an amazing £4,000 for the CAFOD Refugee Appeal. There were four performances of the show over three days and this year included a ‘Strictly’ competition section where the audience could vote for the best pair of dancers.
The dance group is made up of 14 ladies and is led and choreographed by dance teacher Sarah Bennett. Sarah said, “The refugee situation is so terrible but it has been great to do something which will help in some way. The ladies are a pleasure to work with and it’s an event where everyone has fun.”
As well as this event, St Francis’ parish pastoral council agreed to match all donations made to CAFOD via the Fast Day collection. The collection realised £5,500. These two amounts mean that St Francis Parish has raised a total of £9,500 during Lent which was doubled by the UK Government’s Department for International Development to provide clean and safe water across the world.
Many other parishes and schools across the Diocese raised funds during the Lent appeal, including members of CAFOD’s Young Leadership Programme, which works with sixth form students in the Hallam Diocese. One group from St Mary’s High School, Chesterfield hosted a CAFOD week where they held activities to raise both money and awareness among the whole school community about CAFOD’s work on water projects.
CAFOD’s Community Participation Coordinator in Hallam, Anne Prior, said, “Being able to turn on a tap and have clean water is something we normally take for granted. That’s why we’re so grateful to everyone who has raised money for our Lent appeal, helping families to access this basic right and empowering girls to get an education and fulfil their potential. It’s brilliant to think that their efforts will have doubled the impact with the UK Government matching the money raised.”
These funds will enable the taps to be turned on in villages around the world by repairing or providing water pumps and training in order to maintain them. It will also fund hygiene programmes, education in sanitation and the building of latrines. Matched funds from the UK Government will enable access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene programmes to over 300,000 people in Uganda, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Nick Hurd said, “It’s fantastic that parishes in Hallam ‘turned on the taps’ this Easter for CAFOD’s Lent appeal. By doubling every pound raised, together we can ensure that 300,000 people, especially young girls, can go to school rather than walking miles to collect water, can be protected from disease and live healthy, productive lives.”