Updated on: 13/06/2017
Newman University has been awarded the CAFOD Livesimply award for its work living simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor.
Newman University’s mission is centred on Catholic values, standing proudly in the tradition of Catholic education as an institution that strives to be an inclusive community, fostering a sense of vocation to take responsibility for the flourishing of our world.
As part of this responsibility the university has a green agenda in everything it does and has also attained Fairtrade status for many years, with all of the tea and coffee sold on campus being fairtrade products. The university is committed to ensuring waste is minimised and has already reduced the number of skips used from 2 every day to just 1 per week by ensuring that all staff and students recycle correctly.
Due to its efforts, Newman University, with a lot of hard work from the university Chaplaincy, has now been awarded the livesimply award from the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD). The livesimply award gives Catholic communities the opportunity to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation to "work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us." The award is for those communities who have shown they have been living simply, in solidarity with people in poverty and sustainably in creation.
The university has consistently shown that they follow this way of life by partaking in activities such as Green Week, where staff and students alike make personal pledges looking at how they could live more simply and sustainably; over 30 pledges were made in the recent campaign, resulting in some students opting to use public transport rather than their own car to make their way to the campus in Birmingham. Other activities included a ‘Newman University and Christian Responses to Environmental Crisis’ lecture, the Climate Coalition’s Green Hearts Campaign, the giving away of 250 Norway Spruce Christmas trees to reduce carbon footprint, charity information days, creation of social media pages to raise awareness, soup lunches, Lampedusa Cross Walk of Witness, lectures on the current refugee crisis as well as fundraising for the Calais refugee camp.
Not only did the university show CAFOD the excellent work they had already completed but demonstrated their plans for the future, something which CAFOD commended when reviewing the application for the award.
The university Chaplain, Margaret Holland commented "We, at Newman University, are extremely proud of becoming the first university to achieve the livesimply award and of our ongoing relationship with CAFOD. The staff and students have come together to show solidarity in tackling the issues that we face in order for us to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with those in need. We are looking forward to continuing to embed these principles in all we do and to devising new initiatives to increase awareness of such issues both at Newman University and in the wider community."