Students from the Faculty of Supported Learning at New College Lanarkshire helped raise awareness of Fairtrade with a special event in the Motherwell Campus.
The New Directions Citizenship class welcomed members of North Lanarkshire Council and Motherwell Zone steering group as well as friends, families, support workers and NCL staff to the event to share their knowledge about Fairtrade products.
Guests were welcomed with tea, coffee and homemade cake – all made using Fairtrade products.
The students then presented what they have learned about Fairtrade, and the various activities they have carried out during their research – including visiting ASDA in Hamilton to see its range of Fairtrade items.
They then held a raffle to win a sachet of hot chocolate in a reusable coffee cup from Greggs, which uses Fairtrade products across its stores.
The event also focused on the theme of technology, which the class have been incorporating into their learning. They impressed guests with their ability to use technology to turn bananas into a piano before having a debate about what kinds of technology were ‘fab’ or ‘frightening’.
Eileen Imlah, Class Lecturer said: “The students have been learning all about Fairtrade and wanted to share their knowledge with others through this event.
“They put in a fantastic amount of work to make it a success and they all shared their knowledge confidently and accurately.”
The event was also used to launch the group’s ‘Pay it forward’ initiative, offering products like painted stones featuring daily affirmations in the hope that they will encourage people to pass on the kind gesture and pay it forward in other ways – perhaps by gifting someone else or sharing an act of kindness.
Eileen said: “Kindness is very important to the class so they wanted to start an initiative to encourage people to be kind to each other. They gifted handmade goats’ milk and Fairtrade honey soaps, painted stones and offered donated books to start off the project.
“I hope that all staff and students will now get involved and pay it forward!”
Stephen Cotter, Curriculum and Quality Leader for Supported Learning at Motherwell, said: “It was really refreshing to see the students focusing on promoting and celebrating acts of kindness.
“This was at both a local and global context through the ‘pay it forward’ scheme within the College as well as their commitment to Fairtrade to support workers in developing countries.
“It was a really enjoyable afternoon and many thanks to the New Directions groups and the staff for organising and facilitating it.”
Professor Christopher Moore, Principal and CEO of New College Lanarkshire, said: "The origin and impact of the goods that we consume matters to us at New College Lanarkshire.
“I was delighted that our students and colleagues from our New Directions Citizenship class have led the way in highlighting the importance of Fairtrade UK products.
“As an Institution, we will establish a new steering group that will ensure we support, where possible, the availability of Fairtrade UK products."
New College Lanarkshire offers a variety of courses for students with additional support needs who may benefit from further education. For more information, visit: https://www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk/courses/supported-learning/