Update from the South East by Sally Reith

This month I have mostly been out of the office and working with Ambassadors in the South East at a variety of events.  On the 10th of October Shared Interest were at the Fairtrade Foundations’ Supporter Conference in London.  Myself and Ambassador Pat Wallace ran a stall in the marketplace area and were extremely grateful when MD Patricia came to help us out, as the stall was so busy with people wanting more information about Shared Interest to take away with them and pass onto their Steering Groups.  This was also a great opportunity to make new contacts.

I was involved in a fair trade challenge day at Chesham High School where I developed existing connections with the school and the local steering group, which is very active and supportive of Shared Interest.  Then I travelled over to Felixstowe to my first Fairtrade Fashion Show which was organised by Alan Muchal, Shared Interest Ambassador, and the local steering group.  This was a great event and a real success at showcasing the availability of fair trade fashion in Felixstowe and online.  Alan kindly then introduced me to others on the steering group and local fair trade retailers.  On my way back from Felixstowe I dropped in on the Lifestyle Movement’s AGM where I had been invited by a member to be their guest speaker.  The theme of their AGM was ‘Money’ so Shared Interest tied in very well with this theme as well as the values of the Lifestyle Movement generally.

Ambassadors play a vital role in continuing to develop our presence within their local communities by building and maintaining new contacts.  With help from Ambassadors at events, such as the help I received from Edward and Judy Evans at the recent World Wales Trade Fair, we can reach a wider audience.  This continues to be extremely important in promoting Shared Interest and increasing our membership as the variety of Ambassador Activities available – from leaflet distribution to arranging to do a presentation, really does make a difference with regards to membership figures and ultimately the lives of those in the developing world.

In the coming month I look forward to meeting many of you at our Ambassador training events and there are still some places available for the event in Bristol.  Please pass on this invitation to the afternoon session to anyone who you think may be interested in hearing more about Shared Interest.  We rely on you as our contacts in the local area to help us grow our networks and connections.

In November we will be having a presence at events in collaboration with the Gaeia Partnership who are running two seminars during National Ethical Investment Week.  More information about these events can be found here and if you are able to help at either event please do get in touch.  If there are any events or activities locally that you think a Shared Interest presence would be beneficial at please do get in touch and we will do our best to support you with this.

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