Our magnificent marathon fundraisers explain why they chose to run for CAFOD

Over two weekends in October, eleven runners took on the London Marathon and the Royal Parks Half Marathon for CAFOD. Once they’d caught their breath, they kindly told us what inspired them to take part!

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“A marathon like no other” for CAFOD

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGdqgUYOGE4?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Justin Rowntree owns the highly acclaimed Silversmith’s Restaurant in Sheffield.  On 5 June he ran the Ugandan Marathon in memory of his late mum, Sarojini, his grandmother, Angelina, and to support CAFOD.  He set himself the challenge of raising £4,000 to cover the cost of building a borehole in the Gulu region of Uganda.  He spoke to CAFOD’s Katherine Binns about the race:

CAFOD Volunteer Justin Rowntree during the Ugandan Marathon
Justin Rowntree during the Ugandan Marathon

The week before the marathon was truly life changing. Meeting people in the remotest of villages rebuilding their lives after 20 years of war, [and seeing] their dignity, determination and relentless strength to improve their lives is something we in the west can learn so much from.

See the impact your efforts during Lent have made

I saw how wells already implemented by CAFOD changed the fortune and lives of whole communities. No six hour trips for water by the children meant school could be attended, hygiene and health improved tenfold, and crops had a chance to survive drought.

As one village leader said to me “building a well is giving life, as here water is life”

Continue reading ““A marathon like no other” for CAFOD”

Why I volunteer: running in memory of my dad

Ben McMullen is the Deputy Head of All Hallows Catholic High School in Preston. In April he ran the 2016 Virgin London Marathon for CAFOD in memory of his father, Vin McMullen. Just before the marathon, he spoke to Jade Till of CAFOD’s media team, about the inspiration from his father and the course that CAFOD continues to run through his life.

Ben McMullen, CAFOD volunteer and deputy head of All Hallows Catholic High School, Preston
Ben McMullen, deputy head of All Hallows Catholic High School, Preston

CAFOD’s been a part of my life since I was 10 years old. My dad, Vin McMullen, worked for CAFOD for 16 years, from 1981 – 1997.  He was the very first regional organiser outside of London.  His area was originally the north of England, and then eventually covered Salford, Shrewsbury, Liverpool, and Lancaster dioceses.

A gift to CAFOD in memory of a loved one could change someone’s life forever

Vin McMullen (centre) with Julian Filochowski (left) and others at the first Liverpool Fun Run in 1984
Vin McMullen (centre) with Julian Filochowski (left) and others at the first Liverpool Fun Run in 1984

Eventually every diocese had a regional organiser so he covered Liverpool.  All through my teenage years I volunteered.  My dad was the one who set up the Christmas Fun Run in Liverpool in 1984, which still goes on.

My dad was away a lot, and when he came back, all of the photographs and video clips really raised my awareness of how other people have to live.  He was particularly involved with the Philippines.  He wrote a book which the geography department at my school still uses.

CAFOD’s changed a lot from those days and it’s grown enormously now. Continue reading “Why I volunteer: running in memory of my dad”

Virgin London Marathon 2016: Team CPL Aromas running for CAFOD!

Bright and early on the morning of Sunday, 24 April, eight runners from CAFOD corporate supporter CPL Aromas will be making their way to the start line of the 2016 Virgin London Marathon. Here three members of Team CPL tell us about the highs and lows of training, along with their motivations for taking on this huge challenge.

Chris Pickthall, Group CEO, CPL Aromas:

Chris has completed 14 marathons and visited CAFOD projects in Kenya and Sudan

“When I heard that CAFOD had spaces for the London Marathon, we put a note on the CPL intranet asking if anyone would like to take part. Much to my surprise, we now have eight runners!

Sponsor Team CPL and support CAFOD’s work with vulnerable communities

Back in January, I completed the Dubai marathon. I’ve done 14 marathons and this was the most difficult. I found it really tough. We were running up and down one long road, which gets a bit monotonous. The atmosphere at the London Marathon is sensational and I am really looking forward to it.

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Running for water: Unexpected challenges

Damian Conlin, from our fundraising team, took on a new challenge this Lent, one that mirrors the challenge faced by thousands of young girls around the world. With Lent over, he reflects on some of the difficulties he expected to face, and others that surprised him.

CAFOD Lent Appeal Damian at the river for his Lent challenge
Damian at the river he ran to every week in Lent

I’ve (just about) been keeping up with my Lent challenge of running to water once a week.

For the most part, the experience has been what I expected. That is, I knew I’d find it difficult. I’ve always enjoyed sports and still do exercise, but running has never really been my thing. 5km is not a particularly long way, but my body has always made it pretty clear it considers itself to have been built for running distances of 50-60 metres tops.

There is still time to donate to CAFOD’s Lent appeal and help change lives

So there’s been lots of wheezing and knee creaking. Observers would be forgiven for thinking my Lent challenge has been to perfect my impression of a man running backwards. But there have also been a couple of things I did not expect.

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CAFOD staff are thirsty for a challenge this Lent

Mariacristina Lubrano from our digital team tells us about her colleagues who have taken up some really exciting challenges this Lent.

CAFOD staff ready for Lent challenges
All motivated to succeed with our Lent challenges

Lent is a special moment for many people at CAFOD and, like every year, we got together to make this Lent count. So many people shared with me their Lenten projects and I am really excited to tell you about some of the things that my colleagues are up to.

Hopefully you will feel inspired by some of the ideas and please keep us in your thoughts and prayers while we carry on with our Lenten challenges.

Take on a Lent challenge of your own with our top six fundraising ideas

Hearing about what some of my colleagues are doing this Lent,  I felt moved by their Lenten commitment.

Continue reading “CAFOD staff are thirsty for a challenge this Lent”