BOB Box News

Attendance winners from YR and Y6 making a BoB box for Archbishop Malcom McMahon

Pope Francis has a BOB Box!

Our friend Steve Burrowes, who worked with us to raise over £1,000 for CAFOD by making BOB Boxes, has given a box to Pope Francis.

You can see from the letter that he is delighted with the gift and our commitment to care for our common home, our world.

Letter from Pope Francis

How to make a BOB Box training

Mr Burrows from CAFOD trained our staff on how to make a BOB box, so that they can pass on their knowledge and skills to our parents and children.

B.O.B Boxes by Steve Burrowes

BOB Letter

BOB Flyer 2

In June 2017 CAFOD launched it’s B.O.B. box project as a simple, practical response to ‘Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ letter to us all, urging us to take better care of “our common home” and to show our “love for creation”, by “ more wisely, thinking more deeply and loving more generously.

B.O.B. stands for ‘Bat Or Bird’ box! You can use it for bats or birds – you choose!

A B.O.B. box is a simple, unique, dual purpose bird-nesting or bat-roosting box which I ‘invented’, alongside students from Savio Salesian College. Our design was accepted and approved by the Bat Conservation Trust, who endorsed it’s use for the general public, for bat and bird conservation in nature reserves and conservation projects and for the use of the building and                                                       construction industry.

The school-based project went on to win an Observer Ethical Award in 2011 and B.O.B. boxes are sited in, to name but a few places, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, 10 Downing Street, Chequers, Kew gardens and Knowsley Safari Park.

I was at that time a teacher, the Special Needs Co-ordinator at Savio Salesian College in Bootle. I have now been working for CAFOD, in Salford, for the last two years. Lucy Siegle, the lead writer for The Observer on environmental, sustainability and ethical living presents the awards and followed the school-based project very closely. A year after winning the award – and a bursary of £ 2000 a year, for three years, from Ecover, to develop the project – she came to school to visit the students and filmed this video. The project featured in a few Observer / Guardian based articles. As you can imagine the school and students were, rightfully, proud of their achievement!

So now I’m working for CAFOD and the B.O.B. box is about to enter the next phase of it’s exciting life and we’d love you to be part of it.

We, at CAFOD are looking for a ‘simple, practical response’ to ‘Laudato Si’, that would show that we are caring for or ‘common home’, expressing ‘our love for creation’ whilst also raising much needed funds for CAFOD’s work – but this time in an IKEA-like flat-pack form, for people to make themselves and all you will need to make one are an hammer and a screwdriver.

We took the idea to Bishop John Arnold, who was very generous in his support and encouragement for the project, saying :

“In ‘Laudato Si’, the letter of Pope Francis to us all, he talks about our ‘care for our common home’. We have to look after our world and all the creatures in it, just as we are to look after each other and never forget or ignore the needs of the people in the poorest countries of the world. The B.O.B. boxes gives us a real opportunity to connect with nature, by helping endangered birds and bats that are so important to our local environment. And by buying the boxes we provide much needed funds to help the poorest of people to have clean water and build sustainable livelihoods for themselves.”

With kind and generous donations from supporters, volunteers and the Rochdale Circle of the Catenian Association, production is well and truly underway. These donations have meant that the start-up costs for the project have been covered and the B.O.B. box project will be cost neutral to participating parishes, schools and wider community groups.

We are delighted to be working in partnership with HMP Buckley Hall, Rochdale and their Business and Industries Team. They are cutting, drilling and branding the wood and then packing everything into our ’bespoke’ box! A CAFOD volunteer, from Rochdale, will then collect and warehouse the B.O.B. boxes, before delivering them across the Diocese.

25% of each sale returns to the project to keep it self-sustaining, enabling us to re-order materials.

75% of each sale will go to CAFOD – either as a direct donation or schools and groups can pool their sales and determine how to spend the proceeds on CAFOD World gifts.

“ B.O.B. box is local. It’s impact could be global!”

Steve Burrowes

BOB Flyer

Video 1: Bishop John and Steve Burrowes Q & A.

Bishop John Arnold introduces B.O.B. box – CAFOD Salford’s practical response to ‘Laudato Si’

Video 2: BOB box construction guide

CAFOD Assembly

CAFOD volunteers delivered an assembly and workshops to KS2 children  to introduce our BOB box initiative. The children learned more about Pope Francis’ Laudato Si project and how we will be fundraising for CAFOD.