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Finding the lost sheep…

‘God searches for the lost. He searches until the end, like the shepherd who goes out into the darkness, searching, until he finds the sheep.’

‘Finding the lost sheep is a joy to God, because he has a “loving weakness” for those who are lost.’ Pope Francis


Sadly, some children living in our communities simply don’t have the basics that we just take for granted, there is no food in the house, they have no clean clothes and no toys.

Whether it’s a family living hand to mouth, struggling to pay the rent, a homeless mother and child fleeing domestic abuse, or a young person struggling with life, until they find a sanctuary and safe place with us.

Across the last 139 years Nugent has been at the forefront of campaigning for and supporting children and young people living in poverty, in crisis or just struggling with life, restoring their sense of dignity and purpose.

As one of the major charities in the North West, we offer a diverse range of support to adults and children in Merseyside through our schools, care homes, community and adoption services, working at the heart of some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.

One of the oldest charity appeals in the UK.

Traditionally based in schools, our Good Shepherd appeal is one of the oldest charity appeals in the UK. With its origins with our founder Fr James Nugent and built around children helping children, the appeal has helped support families struggling to support themselves in difficult times for over 110 years.

The Good Shepherd appeal was an initiative of Bishop Thomas Whiteside who was Bishop of Liverpool from 1894 to 1911 and then the first Archbishop of Liverpool until his death on 28 January 1921.

Bishop Whiteside wanted to “enlist for the homeless little ones of his diocese the sympathies not alone of the grown-up people but even of the little children, both those of the well-to-do and those of the poor, but self-supporting, working people.”

Archbishop Whiteside was originally buried in Ford Cemetery, close to where Nugent’s founder, Monsignor James Nugent lies; significant in that they are two great pioneers of the work that Nugent continues today.

Across 110 years generations of schoolchildren from all over the archdiocese have continued to support Nugent through Good Shepherd, raising millions of pounds and helping thousands of children and young people by taking part. More recently things are no different with local schools across the parishes raising over £50,000 per year on average.

This amazing support helps us to continue to provide support and care where local government funding and austerity is impacting most and creating hardship and this means that the Good Shepherd appeal has more relevance in helping children and young people in our local communities, right where it’s needed most.

Pupils at all the schools taking part really use their imagination and come up with some amazing ideas that their friends and staff can take part in.

Lottie and Hope (pictured) from Christ the King Catholic Primary School in Wavertree, Liverpool, held an Easter bonnet parade last year to support the Good Shepherd Appeal.

Do you remember taking part in Good Shepherd at School?

Recently we have been researching the archdiocese archives for articles featured in the Catholic Pictorial about how schools across Merseyside have supported the Good Shepherd appeal since its early days.

We found some great pictures, showing how young people selflessly worked to help others, be it bringing in pocket money, having a jumble sale or dressing up. We also found some personal stories of young people taking part in Good Shepherd at school and the success they had.

Good Shepherd Mass 1976

This picture was taken outside the Cathedral following a Good Shepherd Mass and shows Archbishop Warlock thanking everyone for their support.

We started trying to track down some of those young people in the picture and find out what they are doing now.

As it turned out, one of those young people is our very own Caritas Manager, Marie Reynolds, pictured with her friend Anne Casey. (circled)

Marie has been working at Nugent for over 30 years, and originally led the fundraising team and the Good Shepherd appeal. Marie’s Caritas work involves engaging with the communities we work in, managing Nugent’s Catechist team, the Deaf team and the Volunteer and community team and she leads on Community Sponsorship.

Marie and Anne have remained close friends, and Anne, a parishioner of St Oswald and St Sebastian, is also a lifelong supporter of Nugent and runs a Faith in Action youth group which raised funds for us last year.

Marie Said:

“What a surprise to see Anne and I on the old photo, we were both at Notre Dame Everton Valley and were representing our school at the Mass. I have lots of happy memories of fundraising for the Good Shepherd appeal and it’s great to be still part of it. Seeing the impact the  appeal has  on local people and the  difference the donations  continue to make is remarkable.”

Where you at the Good Shepherd mass that year? Are you in the picture?

You may remember taking part in the Good Shepherd appeal when you were at school.

What did you do to raise money? What events did you and your teachers organise to help support Nugent?

We’d love to hear your stories, Contact us at fundraising@wearenugent.org or through social media, we can be found on Facebook, Instagram and twitter, search – wearenugent.

You can keep up to date with our Good Shepherd Appeal activities by searching #NugentGS on social media.

The funds our supporters donate can help provide everything a family needs, a new bed, a cooker, basic kitchen items and bedding, along with clothes and pyjamas for the children, bringing smiles and tears to the children and their parents, as they began a new chapter in their lives.

You could be part of helping to create those smiles, by donating today to help us relieve the pressure on children living in hardship and crisis, giving them the helping hand they need to survive.

You’re never too old to get involved! You can help support the appeal now.

You can donate online at wearenugent.org, donate via paypal or by phone on 0151 261 2000.

Good Shepherd Masses

This year’s Good Shepherd Masses at which the children will be invited to present their fundraising donations will take place on the following dates, both Masses will be led by Bishop Tom Williams:

Wednesday 24 June 2020 at St Mary’s Church, Leyland at 10.45am

Tuesday 30 June 2020 at The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool at 1pm

Support our work caring, educating, protecting and inspiring those in need.

For 140 years we have been providing support to children, young people, adults and families who are vulnerable or at risk across the North West through our schools, care homes, community and social work services. Your donations can help us support more people.

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Caring, educating, protecting and inspiring those in need.