25th October, 2019

Spotlight on: Fairtrade Schools in their Communities

Looking to develop your school’s connection with the wider Fairtrade community? Stuck for ideas on how best to work together and engage your local group?

We’ve put together a list of ways that schools can engage with their local towns groups, highlighting exceptional and imaginative examples from the past year along the way.

From hosting joint coffee mornings and attending your local towns groups’ meetings to presenting and performing at annual conferences, the possibilities for collaboration are endless. Whether you are starting out on your Fairtrade journey or looking to renew your FairAchiever award check out these ideas on how to get involved;

Attend a local meeting or event:

Many of our local towns groups hold regular meetings throughout the year, getting together to discuss current issues in trade justice, plan local campaigning events, and develop new strategies for community engagement. Why not send your student Fairtrade representatives along? Our community representatives are always on the lookout for fellow supporters – especially younger ones with fresh, innovative and contemporary perspectives to offer. Examples from the past year include St Herbert’s Church of England Primary and Nursery School in Keswick, who delivered a presentation and showcased students’ work at Fairtrade Keswick’s annual group meeting, and Victoria Road Primary in Plymouth, who performed a poem and displayed students’ posters at Fairtrade Plymouth’s ‘Fairtrade at the Clipper’ event.

Host a joint coffee morning:

Coffee mornings are a great way to promote the use of Fairtrade products in both your school and local community. Why not co-operate with your local towns group and host a joint event, either at your school or somewhere in your town? This is something that St John’s Primary in Camborne have done since first gaining the FairAchiever award in 2016, helping out at Fairtrade Camborne’s coffee mornings, and inviting them in to take part in their own.

Arrange a speaker visit:

Many of our local community representatives are long-term advocates of Fairtrade, boasting years of campaigning experience, expert knowledge of Fairtrade related issues, and a host of national and international connections to the wider Fairtrade community. Why not invite one in to speak at your school or hold an assembly? This can be a fantastic way for your school to find out about local, regional and national Fairtrade events, and develop students’ understanding of global inequality, trade justice and sustainable development. Arranging a speaker visit could not be easier – check out our communities map to find the contact details of your nearest group.

Host a Meeting or Event:

Why not offer to host your next towns group’s meeting, or put on a Fairtrade event of your own? This is something that St John’s Primary in Camborne did in 2018, co-ordinating and hosting Camborne’s annual Youth Conference, and inviting in members of Fairtrade Camborne to discuss the school’s role as a Fairtrade ambassador in the local community. Other guests at the event included Fairtrade representatives from Ghana, speakers from Divine Chocolate and students from surrounding schools. This has led to further collaboration this year around the 25th anniversary of the FAIRTRADE Mark.

Be Creative:

The ideas above are just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ when it comes to co-operating with your local towns group to raise awareness of Fairtrade, and we’ve been delighted to see just how imaginative many of you have been in your Fairtrade engagement.

Over the next year, we’ll be putting together a series of ‘round-ups’, reporting on exemplary schools’ activities, and what they get up to in their local communities. Watch this space for more news and inspiration on how your school can amplify its impact and spread the word about Fairtrade. Get in touch with us via email on schools@fairtrade.org.uk for more inspiration or if you have exciting activities to share.