The Society of the Holy Child Jesus supports CAFOD’s innovative Gap Year Leadership Scheme

cafodimageCAFOD has launched an innovative Gap Year leadership scheme, supported by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, to offer ten-month placements to 18 to 30-year-olds.

The new scheme is called “Step into the Gap” and is promoted as “a year out experience … that goes beyond the guidebooks.” Successful applicants work with communities first in the UK, then visit SHCJ and CAFOD projects in developing countries for four to six weeks before returning to work in their placements for six months sharing their experiences with other young Catholics.

Jo Kitterick, CAFOD’s head of Education said at the launch of the programme “We’re delighted to launch this new scheme for young adults that we hope will give them a really life-changing experience. We recognise that so many young Catholics want to explore the world and gain new skills and also expand their faith. Given our experience of working in the developing world we want to provide an opportunity which will enable young people to make the links between faith, action and the global dimension, and build future leaders in the Catholic community and society in general.”

“Step into the Gap” offers a rounded experience, by working both overseas and in the UK. It bridges the ‘gap’ between the elements of adventure and service that occur in traditional year out experiences.

Applicants are invited from across the UK, and the national placement will be with two youth organisations in England; St Mary’s College Chaplaincy in Blackpool and the Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Youth Mission Team.

Applicants must be open to new challenges and new experiences and prepared to step out of their comfort zone and be challenged and changed by the experience. They must be committed to their Christian faith and to a desire to share their faith and experiences with others. They must be interested in global justice issues and have a passionate desire to do something about them. They must also be willing to work with people, particularly young people, and not be afraid to engage on a social level, be self-motivated and willing to work in a team.

For more details and to apply, visit or contact

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