Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Thirst for Change!

I’m afraid to say this blog really does justify the use of one of Mr Foster’s weather related openings.

It was a cold damp morning, as Dominic, Lucy and Marie opened the front door of Newman House at quarter to eight, to a heavy sky streaked with drizzle, and cars splashing puddles over the pavements that reflected the grey clouds....

Nothing could dampen our spirits though as we headed off to Westminster Cathedral to participate in the final part of CAFOD’s phenomenally successful Lent campaign. The ‘Thirst for Change’ campaign highlighted the fact that 884 million people do not have access to clean, safe water. Something in Britain we take for granted on a daily basis.

As the sun rose this morning, CAFOD supporters gathered at Tower Hill underground station and walked along the river Thames to Westminster, in solidarity with Ethopian pastoralists who have to do so every day to get clean water. At 8am they met with other CAFOD enthusiasts by Westminster Cathedral – who didn’t quite manage to get out of bed before 5 am!

Chris Bain, CAFOD’s Director, addressed the crowd of keen supporters about the success of the Thirst for Change campaign, over complimentary croissants, biscuits and cups of tea as the rain continued to fall outside. A group of school children from Guildford in Surrey spoke about how they raised money and got 900 petition cards singed through various fundraising activities.

As the government has matched the money raised by CAFOD, the total has far exceeded that raised in previous years and will make a huge difference to the lives of many people struggling to survive without adequate access to safe water and sanitation. CAFOD also received three times as many action cards as originally aimed for! 

60,000 action cards
After applauding the efforts of the campaign team and all those involved with raising money for improved access to clean water, we all grabbed our umbrellas and assembled in front of Westminster Cathedral. Once in position, we were each handed a long ribbon with tear-drop shaped action cards stapled along them. These were strung between us and Dom Goggins, CAFOD’s Government Relations officer, who did well to keep hold of all the ribbons and the 60,000 action cards attached to them.

More blue and green ribbons were strung through the ones we were holding and as the wind blew it created a pleasing wave-like ripple bringing the sea of action cards to life.

Katie and Dom
After cheering ‘THIRST FOR CHANGE’ numerous times and being captured on camera by CAFOD photographers, we rolled the ribbons back up into big plastic bags – ready to be delivered to Downing Street later today.

...All before 9.30, well – it’s one way to start your day J

No comments: