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Partners in Fairtrade: Working Together to Change The World

As Fairtrade Fortnight approaches and we get ready for our three School Conferences we invite fellow workshop providers to blog about the work they do. This week we welcome Sam McKay from Pockets Theatre to the guest blog…..


16174432_1798890810371114_8160343318244551702_n (1)“Pockets Theatre is about to have its first birthday. We are a community arts and theatre company growing out of Pudsey in West Leeds. We make theatre and art that does something a little more than entertain.


We ask tricky questions, share untold stories, make noise and celebrate community. Our tag line is, unpacking the world through pocket sized theatre.


When I first started Pockets I shared my ideas for the first year with friends. As I messaged fairandfunky, they messaged straight back, and had been thinking exactly the same as I had. We could make something special together. We met and spent a day throwing ideas around, some have worked this year and some haven’t, but we’ve developed a fabulous partnership.


12987920_10156726366950623_2076204894_nWe’ve had funding twice from Kirklees IYSS for our SCRAPTASTIC Adventure workshops, taking the young people of Holmfirth to imaginary worlds building giant sunken ships with monstrously large sharks living inside, we’ve staged intergalactic wars with robots, and even visited the jungle, all with a bit of imagination, recycled rubbish, and lots of gaffa tape.


A highlight for working with fairandfunky are the school’s conferences they arrange, for which Pockets has become a regular workshop provider. I absolutely love this part of our partnership. When I say Pockets wants to ask tricky questions, I really do mean it. The fairandfunky conferences mean we can use creativity and drama to allow young people to enter into the worlds and situations we want to interrogate.


DSC_0104We can explore the roles supermarkets play in shaping the lives of producers across the globe by physically exploring these ideas. We can explore the power that young people have to shape the world to become more like the one they want to live in, with games, and by playing. We can ask really complex social and political questions in ways that don’t exclude children, and that actually value their voices and opinions above the voices and opinions of the adults in the room.



Photo credit: Bespoke Imagery

At the Fairtrade conference last year in Halifax, I had a fantastic discussion with the young people about power. We were talking about MPs (because there was one in the room, Holly Lynch), and their responsibilities. It didn’t take long for the children to tell me that MPs don’t really have ‘the power’; the people they represent do.


I don’t think Holly needs to be looking for a new job just yet, or warning the government of an impending revolution, but this a moment where young people realised that yes, they can change the world.


I think that’s my favourite part of partnering Pockets with fairandfunky. It’s not a confusing message, it’s not a process that excludes. It’s been playing games, making drama, having fun, and changing the world. I can’t wait for this year’s Fairtrade fortnight, and I’m excited to see what I can learn from the young people I’ll meet. Here’s to another year of this wonderful partnership!”


To find out more about fairandfunky Fairtrade Conferences for Schools please email

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