Na­tional awards for Fair­traders

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

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

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