Missio volunteers make our work possible. Without their dedication, commitment and hard work, we simply could not do what we do. We want to pay tribute to individuals who have shared their stories and thoughts with us.

 Caroline is the Local Secretary at St Paul’s Catholic Church, Haywards Heath. Like all of our incredible Red Box volunteers she has faced challenges during the pandemic.

A difficult year

The ongoing effects of Covid-19 continue to affect people’s health, jobs and welfare. Caroline explains:

‘Last year we managed very well and people were still willing and happy to use the boxes or go to direct debit but this year it has slowed up noticeably. It takes longer to make  my way through the lists [of supporters] as some of my promoters have stopped due to ill health. Until I can reorganise my “rounds” for September I am helping out where I can whilst working full time.

Many of our promoters and Local Secretaries have themselves been hit by ill health or have had to shield because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Caroline says:

I have just done an appeal through our church bulletin to all box holders, donors and my promoters to get in touch if they have boxes to empty as this year it’s been more difficult to engage people and promoters directly.’

Many hands make light work! Could you help strengthen our vital network of volunteers? Find out how to become a promoter here>>

Praying for the Parish

2021 has also been a year of both sadness and change for St Paul’s parish. Fr Martin Jakubas and Deacon Gerard Irwin have both passed away, and are greatly missed. Fr Martin was described as ‘a kind, dedicated and loyal priest, always with a listening ear and a big heart’.

We are praying for everyone at St Paul’s, and we hope the rest of the year brings brighter news, especially as a new Priest will be joining the parish soon.

Volunteers are vital

In the face of such challenges, the cheerful, creative and determined approach of people like Caroline, is so inspiring. Dave Wheat, Missio’s Regional Community Fundraiser (South) says

‘In my role, I get to see first-hand the dedication and creativity of our Local secretaries and it inspires me in my own work.

There have been so many challenges of the past 18 months. Volunteers like Caroline have continued to ensure the work of Missio and our partners is kept in the hearts and minds of the Catholic community in England and Wales.

Caroline has managed to collect the Red Boxes safely and also encourage our supporters to consider other ways of donating such as Direct Debits, Online and text donations. We are so grateful to all our Local Secretaries for their prayerful and dedicated support.’

Caroline says:

Sometimes it’s a bit difficult and then you are greeted with a smiling face, a chance to chat on the doorstep and a heavy box of coins or notes and it gives you a wonderful lift!

Get involved

We give thanks for the incredible work of our volunteers and continue to hold everyone affected by illness or the pandemic in our hearts. Join us to pray this special prayer for all those affected by Covid-19 here>>

Could you help Missio ignite God’s love around the world? Find out how to join our network of volunteers here>>