James Ronan 23, has written a reflective piece on his induction week at St Marys Catholic Academy in Blackpool and his induction with CAFOD in London in preparation for his Step into the Gap year placement in Blackpool this year.
I travelled up to Blackpool on Sunday the 26th of June and the induction at St Marys lasted till the Wednesday. On the Monday both me and Hannah (who’s the other gapper I will be working with) met all the staff at St Marys Catholic Academy again. We chatted with the chaplaincy team as well as the head teachers of the college and the primary school where we will be working. We also met two of the other gappers who will be working at Just Youth in Salford photo below.
The induction with CAFOD took place in London the week after where we met all the other gappers. The days consisted of learning more about CAFOD’s work and Step into the GAP. We also covered Pope Francis Encyclical Laudato Si, Catholic Social Teaching and CAFOD’s partner organisations. Safe to say our days were busy, we would start at 8 in the morning and we wouldn’t finish till about 10 or 11 at night!
On the Tuesday and Wednesday we travelled to CAFOD HQ at Romero House in London where we met the director Chris Bain and heard from CAFOD members of staff including Fr Augusto Davies who is CAFOD’s Theological Advisor and Neil Thorns who is CAFOD’s director of Advocacy.
We were also told of the trips we would be undertaking next year. So in January I will either be travelling to Cambodia for a month or Ethiopia to see projects supported by CAFOD’s partner organisations.
Through the trip abroad I intend to share the important stories of our brothers and sisters in the global south and the difference being made by the support of the Catholic community here in the UK. Step into the GAP should be an even greater opportunity to put my faith into action and be a part of what Nelson Mandela called the “Great Generation”.
Interested in finding out more about CAFODs Step into the Gap programme visit: cafod.org.uk/gapyear