Pupils and staff from nine schools took part in the first Fairtrade Schools Conference in Calderdale, hosted by Halifax Minster.
Year 6 pupils were offered interactive and creative ways to learn how Fairtrade improves people's quality of life.
The event was part of the current bid to see Halifax registered as a Fairtrade Town.
Halifax MP, Holly Lynch, who chairs Fairtrade Halifax, was at the event and commented:
“I’m delighted that so many young people from across Halifax have joined in to learn about Fairtrade in a fun way that they can share with their family and friends afterwards.”
The Revd Canon Hilary Barber, Vicar of Halifax, said he was delighted Halifax Minster was being used in this way by the community.
“It’s really good that Halifax as a town, and the Diocese of Leeds, are trying to become places of Fairtrade, and that the church and the Minster are here at the heart of the civic community.
"Halifax Minster is a place of hospitality, where the people of Halifax come to debate the most important things which affect the life of society and the church.
Concerns are diverse: economy, banking, justice, environment, the future of education and part of the ministry of the Minster is to be a place where these things happen."
Fairandfunky*, who organised the day for Halifax, were thrilled with the inspiring setting for the Fairtrade Schools Conference.
Helen Robinson said: “It's brilliant to bring the children of Calderdale together to learn about Fairtrade - inspiring the next generation to take their own steps to change the world. The Minster provokes reflection about others and how our Fairtrade actions locally make a difference to farmers across the world.”
Revd Tina Walker from the Fairtrade Diocese Steering Group, said: “Seeing the joy and enthusiasm on the children’s faces, combined with a sense of awe, was wonderful. It’s great that our schools have these opportunities to engage with justice.”
And what did the children think of the day?
“Fairtrade is able to help other people who aren’t as fortunate as we are - to let them live a life they want to have. I’ve really enjoyed this morning. In drama, we were acting out the process from the farmer to the consumer and we were trying to find a way to make it fairer, and finding out how Fairtrade helps.” (Henry, 10, Barkisland CE School)
“It’s really fun and it’s a really nice place!” (Ruby, 10, Northowram Primary School)
“It’s good! I’ve learned that everyone benefits from Fairtrade.” (Matthew, 11, Northowram Primary School)
Earlier this year, Synod members enthusiastically supported a motion to work towards becoming a Fairtrade diocese by writing to all churches and church schools asking them, where not already registered, to register as Fairtrade Churches and Schools. A Fairtrade steering group will steer the registration of the Diocese as a Fairtrade diocese. If you want to know more - contact tinalet [at] hotmail.com (subject: Fairtrade%20) (Revd Tina Walker).
Find out more about Fairtrade: www.westyorkshiredales.anglican.org/fairtrade
* fairandfunky is a Holmfirth-based Community Interest Company co-founded by Helen Robinson and Sophie Bebb. Empowering people to take small steps to change the world.
fairandfunky delivers interactive and creative workshops on global themes to schools and community groups.
The Fairtrade conference in Halifax helped the schools progress on both their Fairtrade School Award and their ‘Eco-Schools’ journey.