The Mayor attends Fairtrade thank you event for Solihull students


School pupils who crafted bespoke pieces of artwork for the recent Solihull Fairtrade Trail have been rewarded at a thank you event at John Lewis in Touchwood Shopping Centre. The Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Ken Meeson, and the Mayoress joined the students to praise their efforts for raising awareness of Fairtrade and the threat farmers are facing from the effects of climate change.

Taking place between 18 February to 5 March, the annual event featured a trail and a quiz which could be completed by visiting all 12 town centre locations. At each spot, there was a Fairtrade themed sculpture or piece of artwork created by pupils from one of Solihull’s schools. This year’s theme was ‘choose Fairtrade now to save the future of our favourite foods’. More information about this year’s event can be found here.

At the thank you event, the children each received a certificate and were treated to some refreshments as they got the chance to speak to the Mayor and Mayoress about their pieces of artwork. Hosted in the café at John Lewis, the children got their hands on some Fairtrade goodies and got to see a display of ethically sourced products.

The schools which attended the thank you event were:

  • Reynalds Cross
  • Solihull School
  • Monkspath Junior & Infant School
  • St George & St Teresa
  • Triple Crown
  • Knowle CofE Primary Academy
  • St Patricks CofE Primary Academy

This is in addition to several other schools in Solihull who produced artwork for the trail but were unable to make the thank you event on this occasion.

The Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Ken Meeson, said:

“Once again, our talented students have really thought outside the box and created some amazing pieces of artwork for the Solihull Fairtrade Trail. It’s a privilege to be able to speak to them and congratulate them on helping to raise awareness of Fairtrade in the heart of our borough.

“I want to thank John Lewis in particular for hosting a generous thank you event which I know the students really appreciated. I’d also like to thank all of the high street shops for being so accommodating and hosting the artwork and sculptures. It’s fantastic to know that both our young people and many of our businesses are on-board with the Fairtrade campaign and are committed to a fairer future for all.”

Councillor Andy Mackiewicz, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Climate Change, Planning and Housing, said:

I’d like to join the Mayor in thanking each and every one of the school pupils who contributed to the brilliant pieces of artwork that have been on display in the high street over the past few weeks. The students really took the time to understand the brief of this year’s theme ‘choose Fairtrade now and the save the future of our favourite foods’.

“The Fairtrade Fortnight 2023 campaign has helped shed light on the environmental risks that could lead to some of the UK’s favourite foods becoming endangered, including chocolate, bananas and coffee. By embedding Fairtrade themes into the curriculum, we’re confident the next generation will be far better informed about the growing threats climate change is causing to many of our best loved foods.”

TC Peppercorn, Events and Marketing Coordinator at John Lewis Solihull, said:

“Sustainability is at the heart of our ethos here at John Lewis and Waitrose so we were proud to be part of the Solihull Fairtrade Trail and to host the thank you event. The young people embraced the themes in a creative and engaging way and it was wonderful to see so many other Solihull retailers getting involved.”

If you would like to learn more about what Solihull Council is doing to combat climate change and create a more sustainable borough, sign up to receive updates or take a look at the Your Future Solihull webpages.