Kilmarnock Academy’s Eco and Fair Trade Group won one of the Fair Trade and Sustainability Awards at the Scottish Fair Trade Awards 2021.

“The Kilmarnock Academy Eco and Fair Trade group have worked hard to raise awareness of sustainability and Fair Trade topics in the school community. As part of last year’s Fairtrade Fortnight we arranged activities for students across the school to take part in during remote learning (during 2020). The group have also raised money for charity by selling Fairtrade Easter eggs to staff for the holidays. The school’s Barista programme uses products which are both sustainable and Fair Trade including compostable cups, Fairtrade coffee beans and encouraging customers to use their own mug.

As a group, we participated in a workshop as part of COP26 on gender inequality and its links to climate change. We intend to use what we have learned from this to inform our work in increasing the use of Fair Trade products in our community to reduce the climate impact and ensure a fair outcome for all.

This year (2021) we plan to improve the sustainability of the school by focussing on litter and reducing waste. The Barista programme have recently changed suppliers to a local dairy who have eliminated single use plastics in their products.

The group will be raising awareness of Fairtrade Fortnight in the school through a series of school wide assemblies and activities including games and quizzes. 

The biggest setback we encountered was the impact from COVID-19 as it restricted the activities we were able to do to raise funds and participation from different years. Unfortunately, this is an ongoing problem however we strive at every opportunity to adapt to the ever-changing guidelines.

Despite the obstacles, we are working with East Ayrshire Council to implement new initiatives to tackle littering around and within campus. We achieved the Sustainability Award in The Scottish Fairtrade Awards 2021 in recognition of our work towards improving the sustainability and Fair Trade work within the school”.

Photo credits: Kilmarnock Academy