Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Meeting at the Swan

We've had a bit of a quiet time since the Picnic, but now is the time to start thinking about the Christmas Fair, and Fairtrade Fortnight, and renewing our status as a Fairtrade Town - and a few other things as well.
The Christmas Fair (slogan this year will be "Have Yourself A Fairly Traded Christmas") will be held on the 10th December, and we'll have a mix of regulars and new stalls from all around the world. One new trader we're hoping to have is Trade Africa, who have batik and other handicrafts from Tanzania and Malawi, and there's also a small charity called Obumu which works with villages in Uganda.
Chris, who does the lion's share of organising the Fair, is also active in Jump4Timbuktu, and he told us that they now have a new co-ordinator, who is fluent in French (important for Mali, where one of the main languages is French). They have also been working on some new projects, in particular an IT centre and a gardening project. They've even been trying out some of the techniques for the gardens at Hayfield Garden here in Hay (under slightly different conditions than the edge of the Sahara desert!)
Chris is also involved with the Cheesemarket project in Hay, to renovate the old Cheesemarket for community use, and because of this he's involved with ambitious plans for the Hay Festival. For several years now, the Fair on the Square has been put on during the first weekend of the Hay Festival, to tempt Festival goers into the middle of town. Now they want to link up events in the Square, the Buttermarket and the Parish Hall, with stalls, workshops, and entertainment. Many of the stalls will be Fairtrade, so he was suggesting that Fairtrade Hay should get involved with the organisation of this. More on that nearer the time!
And while we're touching on the subject of the Cheesemarket, Jo Eliot is involved in a fund-raising fashion show at the Swan for the Cheesemarket on 3rd November! They, too, have a new co-ordinator, who is needed to put the bid together for the money they really want, to renovate the building.
And then there was the renewal form to fill in - or make a start at, anyway! I think we've actually done rather well. The only thing we said we were going to do in 2009 that hasn't happened yet is the putting up of a Fairtrade banner outside the Council Chambers, and we've raised money, and got agreement in principle from the Council for that. We've held events, liased with other local groups and other local Fairtrade Towns, brought out a new Fairtrade Directory, and publicised everything we've done in the local press.