Mayor gets crafty to support Fairtrade Fortnight

Stourbridge News: Mayor oThe Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Melvyn Mottram, with Michaela Vallance from Stourbridge Fairtrade. Mayor oThe Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Melvyn Mottram, with Michaela Vallance from Stourbridge Fairtrade.

THE Mayor of Dudley has been getting crafty to support a Fairtrade arts project organised by Dudley performing arts and Stourbridge Fairtrade.

The two groups have invited borough schools and colleges to take part in the Fairtrade Foundation’s artwork and sculpture challenge as part of Fairtrade Fortnight - which starts tomorrow (Monday February 25) and runs until Sunday March 10.

Dudley Council’s Dudley Performing Arts team is working with the council’s school’s catering service and Calypso Drinks, which supplies Fairtrade drinks to schools, to make a piece of artwork from Fairtrade packaging and recycled materials.

Artworks created by schools signed up to Dudley’s catering service will then be photographed and the images entered into the competition and uploaded to the Fairtrade Foundation website’s online gallery to support the foundation’s 2013 campaign.

Schools taking part will be in with a chance of winning art materials and the images may even make it to Downing Street where they will be used to further the Fairtrade cause.

Those taking part include Castle High, St Mary's C of E, Bromley Pensnett, Rufford, Thorns Community College, Oldswinford C of E, Ham Dingle, Manor Way, Bishop Milner and Pedmore Technology College and Lutley, Belle Vue, Netherbrook, Blowers Green and St Josephs Primary schools.

Their work will also be showcased at an arts fair organised by Dudley Performing Arts taking place on Saturday March 2 from 11am to 5pm at Netherton Arts Centre, Northfield Road, Netherton.

As well as the sculpture display - there will be craft stalls, family art workshops and refreshments. Entry is 50p per person.

Stourbridge Fairtrade is also arranging for some of the pieces to be displayed alongside artwork from other schools, at the Ryemarket shopping centre on Saturday March 9 as part of Fairtrade Fortnight activities.

Councillor Melvyn Mottram, Mayor of Dudley, said: “It’s been fun to get stuck in and do some arts and craft activities to help promote the campaign.

“I’m looking forward to seeing some of the finished pieces at the fair on March 2 and grateful to Stourbridge Fairtrade and the Ryemarket shopping centre for giving local people a second chance to view the piece on Saturday March 9."

Dudley Council uses Fairtrade tea, coffee and sugar in all its civic catering and is keen to boost the use of Fairtrade goods across the council and the borough.

Stourbridge Fairtrade, founded in 2001, campaigns to promote Fairtrade and in 2010 the group achieved Fairtrade status - making Stourbridge one of 500 Fairtrade Towns across the UK.

For more information on Fairtrade visit www.fairtrade.org.uk

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