A huge success: Harrogate Fairtrade Group's first 'Christmas with a conscience' event

Chair of the Harrogate Fairtrade Group Jane Kennerley with Vicky Wild and Anthea Sanders. (1811101AM1)
Chair of the Harrogate Fairtrade Group Jane Kennerley with Vicky Wild and Anthea Sanders. (1811101AM1)

Putting on any community event takes a great deal of organising, but the Harrogate Fairtrade Group really pulled out all the stops to make their first ethical shopping event a huge success on Saturday.

Shoppers poured into Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre to show their support for the 'Christmas with a conscience' fair, which was officially opened by keen Fairtrade advocate and wife of the Archbishop of York, Margaret Sentamu.

Pupils from St John's C of E Primary School, Knaresborough, who helped out at the Harrogate Fairtrade Group's event. Pupils are completing the Archbishop of York's Young Leaders Award and met the archbishop's wife, Mrs Margaret Sentamu, who opened the event.

Pupils from St John's C of E Primary School, Knaresborough, who helped out at the Harrogate Fairtrade Group's event. Pupils are completing the Archbishop of York's Young Leaders Award and met the archbishop's wife, Mrs Margaret Sentamu, who opened the event.

The event boasted an impressive range of stalls from Harrogate charities, community groups and organisations, all selling stunning handcrafted Fairtrade products

Pupils from St John's C of E Primary School in Knaresborough gave a great boost to the atmosphere and community feel of the event, volunteering and helping to manage some of the stalls, and opening the event with singing to kick-start the festivities.

Speaking at the bustling event, the Chair of the Harrogate Fairtrade Group, Jane Kennerley, said: "We are so pleased and excited about how well it's gone. Mrs Sentamu spoke very passionately about Fairtrade and was so enthusiastic. There's just been a real buzz in the room, and people have commented on how friendly all the stallholders are.

"If you can bring people together to buy and sell beautiful things while making a difference at the same time, it can only be a good thing. People can be supporting Fairtrade without even realising it."

Rachel Addison, Ella Allison (10) and Lizzie Smithson (10) on the Jennyruth Workshops stall. (1811101AM2)

Rachel Addison, Ella Allison (10) and Lizzie Smithson (10) on the Jennyruth Workshops stall. (1811101AM2)

Jenny Byers, who teaches at St John's C of E Primary School, was proud to see pupils helping out at the event.

She said: "It's been an amazing event, the quality of the stalls has just been fantastic."

The stallholders included Oxfam, Open Arms Malawi, Jennyruth Workshops, Craft Aid International, North Yorkshire Rotters, and Harrogate Fairtrade Shop.

Jessica Lynch, Jemma Kennedy, Alison Hodgson and Barbara Leach on the Craft Aid International stall. (1811101AM3).

Jessica Lynch, Jemma Kennedy, Alison Hodgson and Barbara Leach on the Craft Aid International stall. (1811101AM3).