Hartlepool teachers scale new heights for Fairtrade

Neil McAvoy abseils to the ground
Neil McAvoy abseils to the ground

Two daring Hartlepool teachers scaled new heights in efforts to raise awareness for a Fairtrade initiative.

Clavering Primary School deputy headteacher Neil McAvoy and Barry Currell from Cactote Futures abseiled 164 feet from Middlesbrough’s iconic Transporter Bridge.

Barry Currell and Neil McAvoy during the abseil

Barry Currell and Neil McAvoy during the abseil

They joined a team of campaigners from across Teesside on Sunday morning to help launch this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight.

Hartlepool has been an official Fairtrade Town for ovber a decade and Barry and Neil are appointed Fairtrade Champions for their respective schools.

Neil has seen first-hand how Fairtrade can help to transform farmers’ lives in developing countries during his time leading humanitarian projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

He said: “This was certainly a unique way to mark the start of Fairtrade Fortnight 2017!

Barry Currell of Catcote Futures with his Fairtrade tea

Barry Currell of Catcote Futures with his Fairtrade tea

“As the Hartlepool Fairtrade Steering Group continues to emphasise, Fairtrade is one way that everyone can make a real, lasting difference.

“My experiences in Africa have showed me that Fairtrade doesn’t just change lives, it saves lives and, hopefully, this Fairtrade Fortnight even more people in Hartlepool will show their support and get behind farmers and their families in countries around the world.”

Barry, who is Learning and Skills manager at Catcote Futures, was the first to take the plunge.

He said: “Although it was a little scary the experience was fantastic. Because we were part of a big team supporting Fairtrade it overtook the nerves and fear and you knew you were doing something for a great organisation.”

Barry Currell touches down after abseiling down the Transporter Bridge

Barry Currell touches down after abseiling down the Transporter Bridge

The daring duo were joined by members from the Hartlepool Fairtrade Steering Group.

Fairtrade Fortnight began yesterday and this year’s theme is putting Fairtrade in your break.

Hartlepool Fairtrade Steering Group is asking families, schools, religious groups, businesses and other organisations to help ensure a fair deal for disadvantaged farming communities by holding a Fairtrade Break.

It is also inviting supporters to get baking and enter the Fair Break Biscuit Challenge.

Neil McAvoy begins his abseil

Neil McAvoy begins his abseil

It will be judged during a Fairtrade coffee morning at Catcote Academy on Friday, March 10, and Mayor Rob Cook will judge the winner.

Details are available from the Middleton Grange information desk, the Vestry Café in Hartlepool Art Gallery, from the Cornerstone Café in Park Road and via the Twitter account @hpoolfairtrade.

And businesses, schools and church groups are also invited to send in their best selfies of you enjoying a Fairtrade break for a new competition.

Email your selfies to bcurrell@catcoteacademy.co.uk. They will be printed out and displayed during Catcote’s coffee morning with a prize for the best.

Look out for Fairtrade stalls in the town centre on March 9, 10 and 11.