As we see out 2018 and rapidly approach a New Year, we post the fifth and final blog in our series looking at Cities or regions in the UK that are embracing Fairtrade school uniforms.
This time we journey to South West Wales, where the unique way in which Koolskools practices Fairtrade business with its client schools is beginning to take root.
An Impressive Start!
Regular readers of the Koolskools Blog will know that it can often take us several years before we can gain traction for Fairtrade uniforms in a particular area of the country. By contrast, the momentum behind the introduction of Fairtrade uniform in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire has taken root rapidly.
We first spotted a penchant for Fairtrade amongst Pembrokeshire schools when coming across news reports earlier in 2018 of the annual Fairtrade football schools tournament run by Sharron Hardwick, a popular Fair Trade Wales volunteer and Fairtrade advocate in the area.
Sharron has been a friend of our Koolskools Fairtrade school uniform business for several years, so we were delighted to partner with Sharron on our first visit to the area towards the end of October, when we visited Hafan y Mor Primary school in Tenby, Neyland Community School in Milford Haven, Tavernspite Primary in Whitland and Johnstown Primary in Johnstown. In conjunction with the Koolskools visit Sharron was invited to become Koolskools latest UK regional Fairtrade cotton Ambassador, and gladly accepted.
A Second Visit Within 2 Months…a third in prospect!
It is highly unusual for Koolskools to visit a new UK “hunting ground” for Fairtrade uniform and find themselves back visiting more schools in that area within a couple of months…
…step in the brilliant, ECO/Fairtrade-friendly new Acting Deputy Head Teacher at Neyland Community School, Natalie Moir. Natalie helped us to orchestrate the visit to Neyland on 25 October, and during that visit suggested that we return to do a presentation to the Haverford West Cluster Headteachers Group at their next meeting in December…
…fast forward to 13 December, when Andy had the pleasure of addressing a very Fairtrade-aware (could this have been something to do with Natalie Moir’s influence we ask ourselves?!) group of Haverford West Headteachers at Hook Primary School, hosted by their warm and welcoming Headteacher, Louise John. Louise John kindly hosted another Koolskools Fairtrade student Assembly visit the following day.
Koolskools also visited Spittal and Mary Immaculate Primaries during the pre-Xmas tour, which served to enlighten Haverford West schools to the wider global citizenship benefits of embracing Fairtrade school uniform. This is reflected in the fact that 3 Headteachers present at the Cluster Heads meeting have already requested visits during Fairtrade Fortnight 2019, with others to follow.
Next Step: Fairtrade Cotton School Uniform Blossoming (we hope!) in South Wales
Thanks to the terrific efforts of Sharron and Natalie and some Fairtrade-friendly Headteachers, there is now a real buzz behind the idea of Fairtrade uniform in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire. We are now sampling half a dozen or so school logos with a view to supplying them with Fairtrade school uniform in 2019, and look forward to selling our first items of Fairtrade uniform as Fairtrade Fortnight 2019, and our next South West Wales visit, rapidly approach…
We should like to take this opportunity to wish all Koolskools friends in South West Wales and in the rest of the UK a very Happy New Year!