Education, Podcasts

Josh Brown Interview

Welcome to the 5th episode of the Rainbow Turtle Rebooted podcast. In this episode, I’m delighted to interview former Rainbow Turtle education officer, Josh Brown.

Josh offers some interesting insights into fair trade and the concept of development in relation to developing countries. He spent some time studying indigenous peoples in Australia, which formed his thinking on the effects of colonialism. 

Josh reflects on his time at Rainbow Turtle and the work that he did in schools. He has a refreshing attitude to working with young people where he likes to encourage questioning, rather than providing answers. He also gives a shout out for some of the wonderful people that he worked with at Rainbow Turtle, in particular, Molly McGavigan, who showed him the ropes.

Finally, Josh talks about the work that he’s currently doing with teachers, to give them the tools that they need to work with young people in schools.

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Education, Seasonal, Uncategorised

Black History Month

This years’ BLACK HISTORY MONTH is in full swing and I feel one cannot talk about fair trade, climate justice and social justice without talking about Africa and the people that call this beautiful continent home. Many events, both good and bad, shaped the way Africa is today and it is crucial to remember them and recognize their importance, for there is no future without the past. Today, however, I would like to reflect on how we see and how we talk about Africa.

For years, the African continent has been associated with poverty, corruption, political chaos, human rights abuse, various diseases and a lack of both development and ambition. While some of these things are undoubtedly present in parts of the continent, the challenge is to look beyond that, to look beyond media cliches and plain stereotypes, as shrouded behind all these is a beautiful, radiant, vibrant and diverse continent.

When I think of Africa I think about breath-taking scenery, diverse fauna and flora, delicious food and a wonderful variety of musical sounds. I think about all these but mostly, I think about the PEOPLE. It is disdainful to throw African people into one pot as this huge continent has more tribes, cultures, religious beliefs and languages than an average person can comprehend. From this diversity stems the true beauty of Africa. From Tunisia to South Africa, from Senegal to Somalia – Africa is a patchwork of cultures and traditions that are as radiant and thriving today as they were hundreds of years ago. So yes, Africa is a beautiful place that is alive thanks to the people that live there.

It is a popular belief that due to the fact that many African countries struggle with high levels of poverty, only pocket deep donations can overcome this problem. While, arguably, this approach might be relevant in some situations, for instance, environmental catastrophe or even armed conflict resolution, it is my opinion that Africa would indeed benefit from every one of us becoming a conscious citizen. We need to understand the effect our actions have on other people (however far they might be) and the planet. African people are no different to us in the meaning that they work hard to earn the living. The difference is in how that work is valued and treated. If we demand from our leaders to ensure honest, fair and decent pay for work to everyone on every step of the trade chain there will be no need for charity and aid money. To me, this is fundamental in understanding Africa and its people.

Perhaps this is quite obvious, but nonetheless, I would like you to think about those people. Think about people when you are shopping for this warm winter cardigan to prepare for long winter nights. Think about people when you are drinking that life-saving morning coffee to help you get through the day filled to the brim with things that just can not wait, kids that need your attention right now and the boss that wanted this paper on his desk yesterday. Think about people when you are making the comforting bowl of curry and rice for the dinner. Think about people when you are buying flowers for someone you care about. Think about people, as they make all these possible. Is this why they deserve to be treated fairly and with respect? No. They deserve to be treated as our equals because that is who they are. Being human is enough to deserve respect. Borders, different skin tones or a different way of saying ‘hello’ don’t change that. We need to treat people fairly because they are people.

So please, instead of thinking about poverty think about equality, instead of feeling pity think about fairness. Let’s stand up for human rights – this October and for as long as it’s needed.

Education, Podcasts

Martin Rhodes interview

Welcome to the 4th episode of our podcast series with our interview of Martin Rhodes of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum.

For this episode I’m delighted to introduce the chief executive of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, Martin Rhodes. Martin is an incredibly busy person and it was hard trying to match our diaries for the interview. He is an interesting person to listen to, especially on where he thinks that fair trade should be in Scotland. He is keen that fair trade is a policy issue that is discussed at government level.

Martin became involved with Fair Trade through campaigning on a number of international, development and trade justice issues. He was a founding member of the Glasgow North Fair Trade Group which joined with Fair Trade campaigners from across Glasgow to form the Glasgow Fair Trade Steering Group. He was elected as the Chair of the Glasgow Fair Trade Steering Group and later the Glasgow Fair Trade Co-operative. In September 2010, Martin was appointed as the Director of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum. He led the Forum when Scotland achieved Fair Trade Nation status in 2013 and through the reassessment of that status in 2017.

So sit back and enjoy…

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Education, Shop

BrickLive Animal Paradise

Here’s looking at you! FREE FUN!

Turtles and tortoises are endangered animals. Until 15 August 2021, there is one for you to find in Paisley ( – let us know whether it is a tortoise or a turtle?) There are 15 animals in total.

One of the species, wanders about Paisley. Rainbow Turtle has just hosted the wandering, endangered visitor – Ginger the Giraffe. He is the only animal not made of bricks and goes out on tour as part of https://paisleyfirst.com/ BrickLive Animal Paradise trail: the local trail showcasing endangered animals of the world, represented in bricks, and placed all around the centre of Paisley.

You can pick up a leaflet in our Rainbow Turtle shop – and other outlets in town. FIND all of the animals, enter the PRIZE DRAW and you may WIN! FUN for all of the family and FREE.

Ginger is not so easy to find because he moves around every few days. Now you see him, now you don’t… To find him, look for the clues online @Paisleyfirst, or in the Piazza Shopping Centre, Paisley Centre, or at the Paisley First office on the corner of County Square and Gilmour street.

There are serious messages amongst this fun. By identifying the endangered species, we can start out on our road of learning to be protectors, rather than predators and do our bit to help to save these hugely important animals. By taking the trail, we find our own local treasures: our local businesses, helping you to Live Life Local and to Love Paisley – they also need preserving from the threat of becoming endangered.

Let us help everyone and everything.

On the theme of turtles: Rainbow Turtle shop, located at 7 Gauze Street, Paisley, PA1 1EP, has push along turtles, turtle puzzles, turtle bags, nodding head turtles (large and small), turtle notebooks, turtle incense holders and a huge variety of other toys, gifts, and goodies galore…

To find the turtle made of bricks (or is it a tortoise?), pick up a leaflet and embark on the BrickLive Animal Paradise trail!

Education, Shop

JOIN IN! Become a FRIEND of RAINBOW TURTLE and SUPPORT SCOTLAND

Rainbow Turtle is a charity that supports Fair Trade, and ethical, sustainable living. It is a beacon for Paisley, a Fair Trade town, for Renfrewshire, a Fair Trade council and for all of Scotland, a Fair Trade nation. JOIN IN, become a supporter and WIN for inclusive economic growth, fair wages and better working and living conditions!

Fair Trade works to transform trade, to achieve justice, equity and sustainability for people and the planet. It matters! You can help us to spread the word from as little as £12 / year for membership of Rainbow Turtle.

Every new membership helps us to spread the word that trade can be fair and ethical. We use the money to educate the public via our shop, visits to organisations, schools and churches, stalls, and through direct work with producers and wholesalers.

You can Gift Aid your membership.

You are very welcome to get in touch / visit us TODAY and EVERY DAY!

  • Phone our shop/office on 0141 887 1881.
  • Visit our shop at 7 Gauze Street, Paisley, PA1 1EP.
  • You can keep up to date by subscribing to our monthly newsletter. Clicking on the link will take you to an online form. Please note that when you complete it you will be sent a confirmation email. If you haven’t received the email within 5 minutes check your spam or junk mail folder.
  • Or you can email us using our contact form: https://www.rainbowturtle.org.uk/contact-us/

Tell your friends, family and colleagues – they are all WELCOME

Education, Seasonal, Shop

TRAIDCRAFT WEEK – Photography Competition

This week is Traidcraft Week – a celebration of everything Fair Trade – here with a competition to win a £50 Traidcraft voucher or a Traidcraft hamper. The theme: AL FRESCO

All you have to do is submit photographs of your favourite outdoor spaces, such as parks, beaches, canals, forests or even your own back gardens, to: marketing@traidcraft.co.uk

Closing date is 27 June 2021 – so HURRY!

Why hurry? – because you want to win that Fair Trade hamper. The food is fabulous and fair. Or you may win £50 to spend in Traidcraft. How lucky is that? Their products are wonderful and by shopping there you are also helping developing countries.

Traidcraft has been on the go for over 40 years, pioneering fair trade.

The organisation was founded in 1979 by radical, church-based individuals importing goods directly from artisans and growers and distributing them directly to shoppers in the UK, cutting out the middlemen. The team collaborated with the growers and artisans throughout the process: they were all partners – working together to show trade could be different, and could be fair. They still do – only on a bigger scale. In 1992, Traidcraft co-founded the Fairtrade Foundation, and helped establish the standards that underpin today’s well-recognised Fairtrade Mark.

Time to get clicking…

Education

EDUCATION OFFICER – Job

Educate, Inform, Campaign

Rainbow Turtle is seeking to recruit an experienced and enthusiastic Education Officer

https://goodmoves.com/vacancy/a4s3z00000xnZteAAE/Education-Officer

Commitment: Part time 14 hours per week. Some additional hours may be available depending on funding

Salary: £18,000 pro rata

Location: Paisley. Homeworking available with negotiation

Annual Leave: 20 days pro rata + public holidays

Rainbow Turtle is seeking to recruit an education officer to fill a current part time vacancy. The successful candidate will provide workshops, talks and conferences to schools, community and church groups about fair trade. They will be a self-motivated person who can share their passion about fair trade with their audiences.

Requirements to apply for the post: a current CV with the names of two referees, accompanied by a personal statement demonstrating how you would meet the skills and qualities essential for this post.

For more information and to request a job description, contact: info@rainbowturtle.org.uk.

Closing date: Wednesday 30th June

Education, Podcasts, Seasonal

Liz Cotton interview part 1 of 2

Welcome to our very first interview in our new podcast series, Rainbow Turtle Rebooted. To mark the beginning of Fair Trade Fortnight 2021 we’re bringing you the first part of a two part interview with founder and former director, Liz Cotton.

Liz has had an interesting and successful life which culminated for us in the creation of Rainbow Turtle, the fair trade shop and charity in Paisley, Scotland. Sit back and enjoy the first half of her interview with Colum Scriven where she talks about her early influences and what led her to open our fair trade shop in Gauze Street…

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast please subscribe to it with your favourite podcast provider and then rate us with five stars! (If you can’t find this episode with your provider, please be patient. The day we went live with this episode our podcast host suffered a hack attack!)

Education

Campaigns & Organisations Course

With lots more time being spent at home, many of us have turned to online learning as a way to not only fill time and entertain us, but also broaden our horizons when the world can feel so small. Our Education Officer, Gemma, has been trying out some Fair Trade focused courses, previously recommending the Who Made My Clothes? course on our blog.

This month, Gemma has been learning from a more general course, hosted by the Open University on their free platform Open Learn. The course, Campaigns and Organisations, covers how to effectively manage a campaign as part of a charity or voluntary organisation – something that many Rainbow Turtle supporters may find interesting in the run up to Fairtrade Fortnight! It’s a short course – said to take around 2 hours of online study – that gives lots of useful information in a straightforward way.

It begins with a short case study about a parent teacher association which is campaigning for the lowering of the speed limit on roads within the vicinity of its school and uses their example to emphasise the importance of focusing efforts on one issue at a time and knowing who the issue will benefit and who to target to get it done.

Particularly interesting is a recorded interview between Terry O’Sullivan, Senior Lecturer in Management at the Open University Business School, and Chris Stalker, Head of Campaigning Effectiveness at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. They discuss many important factors to consider when campaigning, with the most salient advice being to be absolutely clear from the beginning about what you are trying to achieve. They also cover how to decide who to target with your campaign (e.g. political figures or the general public), how to manage problems (such as focusing too much on either fundraising or campaigning activities), how to approach the media, how to use technology in your campaign, and how to assess your impact as you progress. Most interesting for Rainbow Turtle was their advice on how to “punch above your weight” in campaigning as a small organisation by considering carefully how to use your finite resources of time and money.

The Open University pack in a great deal of useful information into this very short – and free! – course and it will be a huge help to many campaigners, particularly if they are just starting out.