A note for our schools

I hope the start of the new academic year has gone smoothly for all our schools and colleges.
Thank you to all schools and colleges that were able to respond to the recent Afghan Refugee Crisis Appeal and support in any way in such a fast-moving situation.  As a result, Caritas is working very closely with local authorities and key agencies involved in the resettlement of refugees.  Therefore, if you are welcoming new pupils and encounter any particular difficulties in obtaining the appropriate support for the families concerned, please contact us by sending an email to comms@caritassalford.org.uk   To those schools welcoming pupils from refugee families from Afghanistan and other countries at this time, or in the near future, you are in our prayers.
If you are planning your school’s charitable focus for this Advent, we prayerfully request that you please consider adopting Caritas Diocese of Salford as your chosen charity.  The theme for our Advent Appeal, ‘Sons and daughters, all’ is inspired by St Joseph, in this year dedicated to him, with all monies raised going to support Children and Families across our diocesan parishes, schools and Caritas services.
For example, the Caritas Bishop’s Fund is available for any family in need. We have just received the following feedback, demonstrating the difference a grant from the fund can make:
‘Parents and children were delighted with the support for uniform costs.  All three children were especially excited to have new shoes, coats and uniform for the start of the Summer Term.  The eldest child had everything and more needed to start his first year at Secondary School.  The support completely removed the barriers and pressure for the parents to provide items that they would normally not be able to afford to do.  The children looked amazing on their first day of term; it was a pleasure to see.  Thank you for the support.’
Caritas Ambassadors and social action resources
Developing young leaders in social justice, who can link their actions to their faith, is an important aspect of Catholic life.  We are delighted that many schools have begun to recruit new teams of Caritas Ambassadors again and have been keeping us up to date with the difference they make in the local community.  For enquiries about Caritas Ambassadors, please contact Kath Ansley k.ansley@caritassalford.org.uk
For prayer and learning resources linked to other key liturgical social action dates in the calendar, including World Day of the Poor on Sunday 14th November, please check our website https://www.caritassalford.org.uk/schools/ and follow us on social media.
Finally, I extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our schools and colleges for the fundraising support and advocacy work provided to Caritas Salford and other good causes throughout the pandemic.  Sustained by the Gospels and guided by the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, I know that you are leading the way in ensuring that our young people are given the opportunity to live out their faith and put Love in Action.
Patrick O’Dowd, Director, Caritas Diocese of Salford