James Ronan, 22, a student at the University of Plymouth and parishioner at Our Lady of the Assumption Tavistock, has accumulated over 700 hours of volunteering for three local charities and is now set to dedicate a year to volunteering for CAFOD.
James is set to graduate with a Geography degree in September, where he will receive The Plymouth Award. It will recognise his 784 hours of volunteering at the CAFOD Plymouth office, Hosanna House and Children’s Pilgrimage Trust (HCPT) and the Tavistock Museum and Tavistock Wharf.
The Plymouth Award recognises and celebrates achievements outside of university studies. It requires a minimum of 80 hours volunteering, but James completed over 700 hours. After graduation, he has been accepted onto Gap Year Programme with CAFOD, ‘Step into the Gap’.
Starting from September, James will work as part of the chaplaincy team at St Mary’s Catholic Academy, Blackpool. He will also spend a month away in a developing country to see the project CAFOD are supporting and the difference being made by the support of communities here in the UK.
“As you can expect I am absolutely thrilled about the Gap Year placement and the Plymouth Award.
“I want to say a big thank you to all the CAFOD Plymouth Deanery especially to those who have supported CAFOD events at Our Lady of the Assumption Tavistock over the years and those who supported our most recent event, our Lenten lunch.
“It has been a privilege working and attending CAFOD events with you all and I hope to be able to share the experience of my gap year with you.”
CAFOD representative in Plymouth, Simon Giarchi, who worked with James in the Plymouth office said:
“I would like to say thank you to all our volunteers, especially James who has dedicated so much time and showed an amazing level of commitment. Our volunteers are at the heart of our work and without whom we would not be able to so fully support those living in poverty around the world. By volunteering with CAFOD you will see how the time you give means less time someone else has to live in poverty.”