Scout leader shares Fairtrade story with generation of youngsters

Scout group leader, Jamie Twell, has been carrying out dozens of Zoom sessions to educate children about Fairtrade. Here...

Scout group leader, Jamie Twell, has been carrying out dozens of Zoom sessions to educate children about Fairtrade - Credit: SUPPLIED BY JAMIE TWELL

A group scout leader has been delivering virtual workshops to hundreds of children, to help spread awareness about a fairer world. 

Jamie Twell is the store manager at Central England Co-op's Mulbarton store and has been carrying out dozens of sessions to beavers, cubs, and scout groups over Zoom to educate children about Fairtrade across two weeks of celebrations. 

Mr Twell, who is also a group scout leader at the 12th King's Lynn scout group, made a special effort to deliver the workshop to his own group on the evening of Wednesday, February 24. 

He said: "Being part of scouting during lockdown has opened my eyes to the amazing resilience of young people.

"The organisation has adapted almost seamlessly to providing the same, if not more, exciting experiences for young people on a virtual platform.

"By helping Central England Co-operative spread the Fairtrade message, I have visited almost every part of the UK talking to hundreds of beavers, cubs, and scouts who a year on from the first lockdown are still as energetic and enthusiastic as they have ever been."

Zoom session educating children about Fairtrade, with lots of faces from the King's Lynn scout group

Zoom session educating children about Fairtrade - Credit: CENTRAL ENGLAND CO-OPERATIVE

The scout group also received a grant from the retailer’s Community Dividend Fund to create a computer suite for the benefit of scouts and community groups across the north west Norfolk area.

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The work was almost completed when the pandemic forced the group to move on to virtual platforms. 

The group had planned to have a celebration day to open the facilities and say thank you for helping to make the project happen, so the chance to team up and bring the Fairtrade message virtually to the scout group members was a perfect opportunity. 

Mr Twell added: “The pandemic has highlighted how important education and experiences are for children.

"A lot of opportunities have been taken away for children to interact and learn, and our face-to-face workshops are not currently possible, but by finding innovative ways to engage with the future of our planet we can help to spread the Fairtrade message. 

“I live in King's Lynn and have seen the amazing things that the 12th King's Lynn scout group has done to help engage and support young people during the pandemic. 

“I was more than happy to be able to provide this opportunity for them and the idea of saying thank you for the grant to create a fantastic computer facility, which they have unfortunately been unable to use yet, was such a lovely gesture.” 

Beaver group leader Tracey Clark said the Fairtrade workshop fitted in well with the range of online activities the children have been enjoying, and it was a great opportunity to thank the retailer for the grant. 

She said: “Since the beginning of lockdown, the 12th King’s Lynn scout group have adapted and overcome the many challenges of not being able to meet face to face.

"We started meeting online way back in April 2020 and have continued to do so every week until now. 

“While planning the upcoming program of events for the children, we discovered that Fairtrade Fortnight was coming up and Jamie mentioned Central England Co-op offer workshops to youth groups. 

“The beaver scouts are currently working towards their Global Issues activity badges and enjoyed finding out about the benefits of having Fairtrade in the world.  

“We were excited to be able to thank Central England Co-op for the substantial grant which has enabled us to complete the computer suite, which we are all very much looking forward to using when we can once again meet face to face. 

“After spending a complete year of online scouting, we are now even more aware of the benefits the IT suite will offer for not only the beavers, cubs, and scouts but also for the wider community groups who use our headquarters.” 

Fairtrade Fortnight takes place between February 24 and March 7. 

More information and downloadable resources for schools and young people can be found here

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