Mitzvah day team go green-fingered

By Peter Stanners

Local volunteers have been getting their hands dirty on a Faith in Communities Allotment in Gorton, Manchester, to prepare it for the winter season.

As part of Mitzvah day, a Jewish led day of social action, the green-fingered group trimmed hedges, cleaned tools and painted the sheds on the triple-sized allotment on Sunday 21 November 2010.

The allotment is run in partnership with several community organisations and provides many services, such as growing food for the disadvantaged people and running workshops on healthy eating, green exercise and poultry care.

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Stocky school supports Fairtrade Fortnight

BANANAS: Jake Mairs, 16, slipped into this little number to promote Fairtrade

PUPILS at Stockport School celebrated Fairtrade Fortnight by decorating the dining area in a Caribbean theme.

The school became the first Fairtrade School in the borough in June 2009.

Jake Mairs, deputy head boy and head of fairtrade at the school, dressed up as a banana to raise awareness of Fairtrade and to encourage pupils to switch to Fairtrade products.

Mairs, who leads the Fairtrade steering group, also organised Tradecraft Stalls at lunchtime and other activities that students could get involved in, such as Fairtrade truffle making, Fairtrade cake baking and selling Fairtrade flowers for Mother’s Day.

The 16-year-old also arranged a Limbo Competition in conjunction with the fortnight, which ran from the 22 February to 7 March 2010.

Catering staff at the school supported the event by dressing up and serving Caribbean themed foods to publicise Fairtrade products. The dining area sells a number of Fairtrade products such as bananas, tea and coffee.

The theme of this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight is swapping but the goal is always the same; to get people talking and buying Fairtrade products.

Deputy head John Warren, said: “We are very proud of the work Jake and the team have done to ensure the fortnight has been a success.  The employees in the dining room are very supportive of school initiatives and always dress up to support the theme.”

Stockport kids celebrate Spanish culture

FOOD IS SERVED: Pupils with chef Jesus Godoy-Diaz from La Casona

FOOD IS SERVED: Pupils with chef Jesus Godoy-Diaz

STUDENTS at a Stockport primary school celebrated Spanish culture with the help of a local tapas restaurant. 

Pupils  at St Mark’s Primary School in Bredbury switched their usual school lunch for the culinary delights of Spain for a week beginning on Monday 19 October 2009. 

Lynn Bruce, Solutions SK Schools cook, offered Spanish style foods including items such as Albondigias (Spanish style meatballs in a tomato sauce), Magra con Tomat (pork stew) and patatas bravas.

After lunch, on Tuesday 20 October 2009, a traditional Spanish chef Jesus Godoy-Diaz, from the La Casona restaurant in Heaton Moor, cooked traditional paella for the children to taste.

The school focussed on Spanish culture and Spanish speaking countries such as Mexico, Cuba, and Argentina this year.

The week involved a number of activities including a samba drumming band that held a workshop for the children.  The week culminated with a meringue and salsa workshop and a party. 

Councillor Mark Weldon, executive member for Children and Young People, said: “It is great that children and staff at St Mark’s are celebrating Spanish Week in such a creative way. We enjoy supporting schools that are enthusiastic and hope we can work together in the future to organise other theme days.”

 Alison Whitehead, headteacher at St Mark’s, said: “We are delighted to have the Jesus at the school for this event. The food he made is an excellent way for the children to experience Spain and its culture.  We would like to thank Jesus, La Casona and Solutions SK for their support of this event.”

Ada Kay centre goes Caribbean


CARNIVAL: Communities gathered at Ada Kay Resource Centre to celebrate Black History Month as one

A STOCKPORT adult social care centre has been embracing Caribbean culture as part of Black History Month.

Members of the public joined older people at the Ada Kay Resource Centre in Bredbury to enjoy a fun filled Caribbean day as part of this years Black History Month (BHM) celebrations.

The event was jointly organised by Stockport Council and Individual Solutions SK.

Also attending the event were ladies from the Asian Heritage Centre who brought a multicultural feel to the day.


FOOD IS SERVED: Attendees were treated to a feast of Afro-Caribbean food, South Asian cuisine and tropical fruit

There was a carnival spirit to the event as people took the opportunity to sample a range of Afro-Caribbean and Asian food followed by tropical fruit.

There were also talks by Jannett Creese and Alift Harewood, who are members of the local Sunshine Circle, a social group for over 60s African and Caribbean people.

They spoke about their experiences of coming to England as young women in the 1950s, their work as nurses and the origins of BHM.

Mrs Creese, who has lived in Stockport for 37 years, said: “We  gave a talk about the importance of understanding black history, as people have to understand the history of community to understand the people within it.

“We set up the Sunshine Circle to give elderly black people from Stockport a link to each other. We meet, do exercise and worship together.”

She also spoke about her autobiography ‘My Winward Side’ which talks about her life in St Vincent and its surrounding islands. This was followed by an exercise class to Caribbean music and entertainment featuring colourful costumes.


PARTY TIME: Some of the ladies took the opportunity to participate in an exercise class to traditional Caribbean music

Each week the Resource Centre plays an important role in the lives of many older and vulnerable people in Stockport. It provides a range of support services aimed at promoting health and wellbeing including help with personal care and exercise. There is also the opportunity to join in a whole host of social activities and make new friends.

Councillor John Pantall, Executive Member for Adults & Health, said: “What a fantastic day. Events like this help take the Black History Month message to the wider community and give many older people the chance to experience something new.”