CSAN has challenged Catholics to respond to Pope Francis’ call and take practical steps to address poverty during Lent. The #Takeitup campaign will feature a different one of CSAN’s 40 member charities for each of the 40 days of Lent, encouraging Catholics to contribute their time and skills to make a difference.
Spearheading the campaign, CSAN’s Policy and Communications Assistant, Phoebe Jackson said:
‘Instead of giving up the usual alcohol or chocolate, we would like people to consider volunteering to do something valuable for society. Lent is all about changing our way of living and we hope that people will take this opportunity to play a role in the truly transformative work of Catholic charities.’
‘There are countless ways that people can get involved. Whatever someone’s skills or experience, there are opportunities out there for them; whether it is helping in a foodbank, supporting someone who has just come out of prison, or visiting a lonely older person. Catholic charities are reliant on the continued support of their communities and are always looking for volunteers.’
Taking up a volunteering opportunity can change a person’s outlook on life. A volunteer for PACT (Prison Advice and Care Trust), working in a community outreach project for ex-offenders, explains:
‘I’ve got a new level of empathy. Even in my work environment when I’m working with different people from different backgrounds. I can put my feet in other people’s shoes and I think that is a really valuable skill that I use consciously and unconsciously.’
CSAN comprises 40 Catholic charities who work diversely, with children and families living in poverty, homeless people, prisoners, older people, refugees and people with disabilities. For a full list of CSAN charities and the list of volunteering opportunities available please visit www.csan.org.uk/blog
Use #Takeitup on twitter to learn more about the fantastic work Catholic charities do up and down the country, and to share your own experiences.