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Hillpark Young Co-operative is delighted to announce that their hard work over the last four years has gained Fairtrade status for Hillpark Secondary School.
 
The group was set up in 2006 in response to pupil concerns that we address issues of poverty and promote Fairtrade. The group became a co-operative which was an important step as co-operative values and principles meant that the group’s direction was determined by the members and not just teacher controlled.
 
The group is self funded from the proceeds of selling fairly traded goods and has been able to undertake a diverse range of projects from rock concerts and music promotion to urban art projects and film making. Indeed Hillpark Young Co-operative is well known for its expressive arts projects which are used for raising awareness of unethical trading and its impact on the developing world. In addition, the Young Co-operative also hosts a vibrant Day of Celebration every Fairtrade Fortnight and has extended its activities in to the wider school community running stalls outside of school. After its first year in 2007, Hillpark Young Co-operative was awarded the national award for Selling Success by Young Co-operatives UK.
 
All this has been achieved through Fairtrade enterprise and anti-poverty campaigning which will always remain the driving force of the group. All the activities undertaken have been generated by pupil ideas, voted on and agreed by the group’s members and have been self funded or funded from interest from outside bodies. Pupils have learned the impact of unethical trading and environmental damage on global poverty,how to work co-operatively in teams, problem solving, creative approaches,business management, stock, accounting, etc, marketing and campaigning skills, engaging with others in the community, media skills,expressive arts skills in visual arts, music, drama and performance but importantly, have enjoyed lots of fun in the process!
 
 
Fairtrade Status
 
On 2 September a group from the Young Co-op and Mrs MacRae attended Holyrood's Celebration of achieving Fairtrade status. The Home Economics Department laid on a Fair Trade buffet, which included cakes prepared and made by pupils, for guests including MPs, MSPs and MEP David Martin who has committed himself to campaigning for the democratisation of the World Trade Organisation which currently operates without allowing developing nations a voice to try to influence trading agreements.
 
This was a prestigious event for the school which was also a showcase for all of the excellent curricular work in many departments on Fairtrade and responsibilities as global citizens. The award of Fairtrade status was presented to the Head Teacher by Maureen McKenna.
 
On Thursday 25 November we hosted a performance/entertainment evening in celebration, and to raise awareness for all ethical enterprises going on in Hillpark. We managed to raise £690 which the Young Co-op will contribute to the Pakistan Floods Appeal.