Education, Empathy and Engagement – Schools Across the Archdiocese are Called to Action

Father Hudson’s Care is calling on support from primary and senior schools across the Archdiocese as it launches new material for students and teachers.

The annual Walk a Mile in Their Shoes appeal begins after the October half-term, bringing together learning, Catholic social teaching and fundraising. For the last two years, senior schools helped transform St Catherine’s Day Service, improving the facilities for the men and women who use the centre. The change has been extraordinary, breathing new life into the building to match the enthusiasm of the staff and clients.

The charity is hoping that this year’s appeal will be just as successful. The 2017-2018 appeal, entitled ‘Being a Friend’, explores the poverty of isolation and loneliness that can affect people of all ages and from all walks of life. Termed ‘relational poverty’, Saint Teresa of Calcutta described this as ‘the greatest disease in the West today.’

By teaching young people about relational poverty and how they can take practical steps to help others, Father Hudson’s hopes to enhance the support for people experiencing this indiscriminate form of poverty in every parish in the Archdiocese.

As well as learning, acting and praying, Father Hudson’s Care is encouraging Catholic senior schools across the Archdiocese to give. As the principal Catholic social care agency in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, Father Hudson’s Care supports people who are marginalised or isolated for various reasons, including loss of mobility due to age, bereavement, homelessness, poor English skills, disability and mental ill-health. Father Hudson’s provides advice, support and materials to enable schools to raise funds.
As well as engaging senior schools, Father Hudson’s Care is rolling out a series of resources to help primary-aged schoolchildren across the diocese learn about their Catholic social care work, the biblical basis for this work and how it fits in with Catholic virtues.

Prepared with support from the Birmingham Diocesan Education Service (BDES) and Newman University, the materials are designed to fit easily into a school’s busy calendar and align with the BDES timetable.

This new material covers sixteen Catholic virtues, each drawing on elements of the charity’s work that put the teachings of the Gospel into practice. The first pair of virtues are ‘learned’ and ‘wise’. Father Hudson’s has e-mailed all primaries to introduce the new material, which, it is hoped, will create a firm foundation for lifelong learning and care.

All school materials can be downloaded from Father Hudson’s website, www.fatherhudsons.org.uk