- Beryl Newbold
- email: email@example.com
Millom is a former iron-ore mining town in a quiet corner of Southwest Lakeland. Millom has a long tradition of helping people in other parts of the world so it is no surprise that many local people have embraced the Fairtrade concept. We have a very supportive Town Council who have continued to encourage us in this venture. We celebrated our Fairtrade Town Status in 2004.
Millom and District's population is about 11,000 and there is a real sense of community here so that our focus now is two-fold:
- To maintain our status by ensuring that the commitment to sell, buy and use Fairtrade goods is kept and to encourage others to join the project.
- To continue to campaign on the issues of the Make Poverty History campaign by giving presentations at local events and to encourage other towns and villages in the district to follow suit.
Our story began in 2000 - millennium year, when an ecumenical study group were challenged to react in a practical way to the reality of world poverty. At the time we did not realise that here in Cumbria we were to experience the horrors of foot and mouth disease.
Should we open a 'One World Shop' to raise awareness of fairly traded goods? We did not wish to compete with other traders in our small town. A local Fairtrader was already introducing a regular Traidcraft stall in local churches and community organisations.
A steering group of six decided to aim to reach a cross- section of our community through different events. Activities snowballed and the rest, as they say, is history!
We learnt much by attending conferences organised by Traidcraft - Durham 2001, Christian Aid Conference, where Bruce Crowther spoke of Garstang's achievement for Fairtrade. Further inspiration came from taking part in the 2002 lobby of MPs at Westminster under the umbrella of the Trade Justice Movement. Only gradually did the idea of promoting Millom as a Fairtrade Town become a possibility.
Presentation of the certificate to the Mayor of Millom, Councillor Ray Cole, at a celebration parade in July 2004.
Tadesse Meskela shaking hands with the Mayor, March 2005.
The Millom group leaving for Edinburgh, July 2005.
Millom has become the first town or village in Cumbria to erect Fairtrade road signs.