Hello! I’m Helen, the new Chair of Holme Valley Fairtrade and very excited to be so! A passionate supporter of Fairtrade, and a firm believer in “be the change you want to see in the world.” In my day job I work for fairandfunky – delivering creative workshops to schools and community groups. In my ‘other’ jobs I run social media for Kirklees Fairtrade, Fairtrade Yorkshire and Holmfirth Arts Festival. Oh, and am peace negotiator for my 3 children!
I view my involvement with Fairtrade as my Christian response to the poverty in the world. Since 1992 Holmfirth Methodist Church has served Fairtrade drinks, had a Traidcraft stall, supported many Fairtrade events, achieved Fairtrade Church status and hosted The Holme Valley Fairtrade Support Group which achieved Fairtrade Status for the Holme Valley in June 2006. I was a founding Director of The Fair Traders Co-operative, a member of Kirklees Fairtrade Forum, Yorkshire Fairtrade and am Convener of West Yorkshire Methodist Fairtrade Group.
The reasons I and Social Progress support Fairtrade is I think that all people should be fairly paid and have good working conditions. I also believe in communities - here, over-seas & online. Fairtrade for me is also about sustaining local economies, giving artisans control and feeding back into the local economy.
To turn this question around and look for reasons why I would not support fair trade I would be hiding from some obvious facts. When I know UK supermarkets squeeze dairy farmers and International companies squeeze third world producers for my benefit, what I purchase is my choice.
Day to day, I am one half of fairandfunky. The core role I have is ‘empowering people to take their own little steps to change the world’. You may look at this as an unachievable task, but together all our little steps can make a huge footprint in the world we live in. Supporting, buying and celebrating Fairtrade is just one of these little steps which, if we all step together, can make a huge impact to communities across the world.
As a small business owner of Soul Kitchen, and a Mum I understand the struggles at times of day to day living, hang on... I will stop myself right there. When I take a step back and look at the bigger picture and take the time to consider how lucky I really am, why wouldn’t I buy Fairtrade products and help others less fortunate to grow their businesses and support their families?
As a consumer and a business owner of The Wrinkled Stocking Tea Room, to me the Fairtrade movement seeks to provide an alternative way of structuring the world around me. By ensuring the price I pay for goods fairly reflects the work and initiative that has gone into producing them as well as guaranteeing producers, wherever they are, a fair price for the goods they sell, I believe we will create a more sustainable way of living within our global society.
Being a member of HVFT provides me with a way of helping promote the Fairtrade message and actively encourage other individuals, businesses and organizations within my town to learn about Fairtrade and, hopefully, begin to find ways of supporting the movement itself.
The Holme Valley Fairtrade project is very important to be involved with, they are helping to improve awareness of what Fairtrade means to the lives in these counties affected, to make things better for them. Promoting the local Fairtrade events via Holmfirth Events to increase awareness is vital and is something that that I can really help with with the Holmfirth Events website.
Kathryn has experience of running library services for engineers, doctors, councillors and schools. Awarded an Honorary Fellowship in 2011 for services to children's libraries, Kathryn is passionate about promoting school leaders' understanding of and commitment to fair trade.
For several years, Kathryn played a key role at Fair Trader (a community co-operative in Holmfirth), co-ordinating volunteers. Special interests include fairly traded woven and hand printed fashions from Rajasthan, Fairtrade coffees and fairly traded children's books and toys.