Pope Francis calls on Catholics ‘to do more to seek out those on the fringes of society who need help the most.’
Our Diocese has an established tradition of outreach to those in need and we are rightly proud of the initiatives that we have undertaken. For example, many of our parishes have drop-in centres for the elderly, while others run foodbanks and homeless shelters, employ youth workers to reach out to our young people or provide facilities for groups that tackle alcoholism and other addictions.
But much more needs to be done.
“The mission of Caritas Westminster is to encourage everyone in the Catholic community to reach out with practical help towards those in need. We are here to serve the good of all, especially the most vulnerable.”
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, 2011
Caritas Westminster has seven priorities:
Food poverty and debt
Social isolation of the most vulnerable
Youth at risk
- Deaf Service
Caritas Westminster has three approaches:
Initiating new projects – working in partnership with Diocesan Agencies (and other charities with relevant expertise) to create innovative initiatives, many of which will be delivered through local parishes.
Building expertise and skills within parishes – encouraging collaboration between parishes with existing projects, showcasing successful projects, sharing good practice and providing direct support.
Increasing opportunities for volunteers – providing parishes and partner agencies with resources to train volunteers and managing a web page to highlight volunteer opportunities.
Examples of Caritas projects already underway:
Magic Breakfast - a healthy breakfast programme that is delivering free, nutritious breakfasts to approximately 250 children, in schools in North-East London.
Befriending the elderly and isolated - a programme in partnership with Contact the Elderly encourages elderly people who are living alone to develop social interests by bringing companionship into their lives.
Foodbanks – providing non-perishable food and advice to people in serious need, significantly improving the well-being of people in the local community.
Project Bakhita – a joint project with the Metropolitan Police, St Mary’s University and Adoratrices Congregation to provide a safe haven for victims of human trafficking.
Four Caritas Development Workers were recruited in 2014. They are helping lay leaders and parish priests across the diocese to identify the biggest needs in their local communities, train volunteers and find appropriate solutions.
Growing in Faith is helping to ensure we have the resources to support these vital initiatives right here in our Diocese. Your support matters.
Find out more about the work of Caritas Westminster.