01253 396286admin@st-mary.blackpool.sch.uk
Shawn and Declan, Our Gap Year Chaplains

Say hello to this year's Gappers

Shawn Kwan

My name is Shawn Kwan, and I am originally from Hong Kong. I came here to the UK in 2012 with my family and have lived in Surrey for nine years since then. I attended St. Leonards-Mayfield School for my A-Levels, and studied BA (Hons) Ceramics in Cardiff.

My hobbies include drawing, knitting, sewing and baking. I have most recently taken an interest in creative writing, and am currently challenging myself by attempting to write a novel. Other skills include learning piano from age five to 18, and did ballet until I was 16. I signed up to Step Into Gap in order to challenge myself by stepping out of my comfort zone, as well as to rediscover my faith in God.


Declan O'Brien

I’m Declan, I’m 26 and from Stockport. I have a degree in Chemistry. I enjoy physical training at my local gym, martial arts, gaming online with friends and playing tabletop RPGs. I once restored a 1946 Ariel NG motorcycle that had been unused since 1969 to full usability, maintaining the use of as many of the original parts as possible. It was a very rewarding project!

I decided to apply for Step into the Gap as I wanted to test a vocation for working with young people and Step into the Gap gives me an excellent opportunity to do that while making a difference in the world.

Pope Francis is a huge inspiration for me at the moment with his holistic approach to society and environmental stewardship.

The Gaplains' CAFOD Overseas Experiences

In conjunction with CAFOD our gap year chaplains get to experience the charitable work being undertaken in countries across the globe.  Each year the gappers visit one of the countries CAFOD works in, to see first hand what goes on.

Upon their return to the UK, the gappers share their stories and experiences with us here in school and with parishes across the diocese.

Click the icons on the map to see where our gappers have been over the years.

Sierra Leone

SierraLeoneFlagVisited in 2013 by our gappers Sarah and Iona, and in 2014 by Neal.

Ghana

GhanaFlagVisited in 2012 by our Gappers Christine and Emma.

Nigeria

NigeriaFlagVisited in 2009 by our first Gappers, Louise and Chris.

Zimbabwe

ZimbabweFlagVisited in 2015 by our Gapper Kieran and again in 2016 by Katie

Kenya

KenyaFlagVisited in 2011 by our Gappers Rachel and Jonathan

Ethiopia

EthiopiaFlagVisited in 2017 by our Gapper, Hannah

Cambodia

CambodiaVisited in 2017 by our Gapper, James. And again, in 2020 by Daisy and Francis.

Peru

PeruFlagVisited in 2016 by our Gapper, Michelle.

Nicaragua

NicaraguaFlagVisited in 2015 by our gapper, Bernadette, and again in 2018 by Aleks.

El Salvador

ElSalvadorFlagVisited by our Gapper James in 2014 and again in 2018 by Aleks.

  • Sierra Leone

    SierraLeoneFlagVisited in 2013 by our gappers Sarah and Iona, and in 2014 by Neal.

  • Ghana

    GhanaFlagVisited in 2012 by our Gappers Christine and Emma.

  • Nigeria

    NigeriaFlagVisited in 2009 by our first Gappers, Louise and Chris.

  • Zimbabwe

    ZimbabweFlagVisited in 2015 by our Gapper Kieran and again in 2016 by Katie

  • Kenya

    KenyaFlagVisited in 2011 by our Gappers Rachel and Jonathan

  • Ethiopia

    EthiopiaFlagVisited in 2017 by our Gapper, Hannah

  • Cambodia

    CambodiaVisited in 2017 by our Gapper, James. And again, in 2020 by Daisy and Francis.

  • Peru

    PeruFlagVisited in 2016 by our Gapper, Michelle.

  • Nicaragua

    NicaraguaFlagVisited in 2015 by our gapper, Bernadette, and again in 2018 by Aleks.

  • El Salvador

    ElSalvadorFlagVisited by our Gapper James in 2014 and again in 2018 by Aleks.

St Mary's Catholic Academy

Head Teacher: Mr. Simon Eccles
St. Walburga's Road, Blackpool, FY3 7EQ
01253 396286
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Blessed Edward Bamber Catholic Multi Academy Trust

CEO: Mrs. Helen O'Neill
St. Walburga's Road, Blackpool, FY3 7EQ
01253 396286
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www.bebcmat.co.uk
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