Caritas Diocese of Salford is the official charity that co-ordinates Social Work within the diocese. Its vision is that the lives of all people should be free from poverty, disadvantage and discrimination. It helps the most vulnerable children, young people and adults in our communities to transform their lives and fulfil their potential. It raises awareness on human trafficking and campaigns for justice. It welcomes the stranger and visits the housebound. It works in schools and supports young mothers and babies. Four young parishioners from Sabden raised £100 towards St Augustine’s High School total of around £800 to decorate the Caritas Young Parents Home in Blackburn.
Last year this parish raised £793 for Caritas’s Refugee Response, out of a total of £37,238, this went directly to the ground-breaking work across the Diocese to welcome refugees and asylum seekers. From almost zero activity just two years ago, Caritas has set up Refugee and Asylum Centre Drop-Ins in Haslingden and Wythenshawe to provide casework support and a welcome face to those escaping war or persecution. They have provided Volunteer-led English lessons; worked with Revive in Manchester to arrange days out in our parish communities in the Ribble Valley and Irlam; and in October they launched the Refugee Come Dine with Me parish initiative, after a pilot involving many of our parishioners. Caritas has continued to pioneer the Refugee Community Sponsorship Programme, taking the Canadian model, where a community group welcomes a Refugee Family; from meeting them at the airport, to finding local accommodation, helping with schools, medical registration and providing friendship. From the original pilot at St Monica’s, Flixton another nine parishes have followed suit and Caritas worker Sean Ryan received an MBE in the New Year’s honours list as a recognition of his leadership and coordination of his leading-edge work with refugees.
Caritas offers emergency accommodation to the destitute, and supporters are campaigning for individual asylum seekers, even in some instances housing them in their own homes! They continue to respond to poverty and social injustice in our parishes in whatever form it might take. This year’s second collection will enable us to reach out with compassion to those greatest in need.
To learn more, go to www.caritassalford.org.uk or contact the parish’s Caritas Representative, Anthony Brown on 01200 422811.