National awards for Fairtraders
Stonelaw High School’s Fairtraders were presented with two national awards recently.
At the Scottish Parliament, deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP presented the Stonelaw pupils with the Inspiring Youth Social Enterprise Scotland 2014 Award.
Then at the Scottish Fair Trade Awards ceremony, the group was presented with the Community Award 2014.
Back in 2003, the Stonelaw High School Traders were given a grant of £100 to help them buy some goods, which they would then sell, with all profits sent to South Africa.
All profits support the education of hundreds of AIDS orphans and vulnerable children in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.
Since then, their sales have reached £ 185,000, and from last year’s profits,150 of the 250 learners at Stonelaw’s partner in South Africa, Ikusasalethu High School, received new uniforms.
Proud teacher Isabel Gilchrist said: “It’s very humbling that the people
Photograph courtesy of Becky Duncan Photography
have been supporting us for so long in this area, and continue to follow up their support - it’s remarkable.
“What’s fantastic for our young people is the recognition they’ve been given, and that makes it all the more worthwhile.
“I think the pupils appreciate that their work is being recognised, and other people can see what they are putting in - there’s a lot of effort being made, to improve the lives of people in the developing world. “That keeps motivating them.” The school has enjoyed success with its fundraising over the years due to fantastic support from Stonelaw High and the wider Rutherglen and Cambuslang community, as well as dedicated pupils and staff.
Isabel explained: “There’s pupils involved in every year of the school, so there’s always a continuity.
“When one group leave, then another one joins. The older ones have been involved for a number of years, and shown the younger ones the ropes.
“For the pupils, it’s such a big deal, so going to the Parliament to be recognised was great for them, especially as some of them had never been before.
“And the great thing about the Forum award was they could see all the other categories, where it was adults winning the awards, but here we had a bunch of teenagers winning the community award.
“It’s been wonderful for the childen, as they are developing their compassion for others.
“It just shows that no matter what age group you’re in, you can make a difference to other people.”
Honour Stonelaw High School at the Scottish Fair Trade Awards ceremony, where the group was presented with the Community Award 2014.
Photograph courtesy of Scottish Fair Trade Forum