Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, has congratulated Foyle Fairtrade on being selected as the ‘Fairtrade Community of the Month’ and for having their status renewed by the Fairtrade Foundation.
Foyle Fairtrade are a local group who strive to ensure better awareness of Fairtrade products amongst local schoolchildren, community groups and businesses across the Council area.
Mayor Warke congratulated Foyle Fairtrade for their continued hard work and for being recognised on a national stage.
“This is really fantastic news that our own Foyle Fairtrade has been named as the Fairtrade Community of the Month for July by the Fairtrade Foundation, which will help showcase their hard work and dedication to a UK audience.
“Foyle Fairtrade are a passionate group who are doing all they can to share this important message across many different sectors within our Council area and they are so deserving of this success.
“We know that choosing Fairtrade can make a huge difference to people’s lives, particularly those living in developing countries and is the more ethical option, so the work of Foyle Fairtrade in educating others on how we can make a positive difference is imperative.”
Dee Abbott, Foyle Fairtrade, added: “Through activities like our annual Fairtrade Schools events, we engage with a number of schools across our local city and district to explore what Fairtrade means, the difference it makes and the actions we can all take to support the trade justice movement.
“Schools act as a wonderful platform for creating change; the various ages provide opportunities to hear more perspectives and help students work together to use their knowledge as power; combining their learning and action for the improvement of our environment.
“Although, like many, Covid-19 has slowed down our progress as a Fairtrade community over the last year or so, we are so excited to use this opportunity as the chosen Fairtrade community to refocus our efforts and engage with others to create positive change and solidarity across the world, at a time when it is most needed.”
Business and Culture Committee Receives Update on Christmas Plans
Members of Council’s Business and Culture committee were presented with an update on plans for the Christmas programme within the district at their September meeting on Tuesday.
Presenting the report, Council’s Head of Culture, Aeidin McCarter, explained that the Christmas programme would begin on November 20th and continue into December, focusing on key weekends throughout this period.
Members heard that the programming will focus on bringing communities together, creating the space for shared inclusive celebration around the Christmas period and that all programming would be carried out in line with Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines.
It was explained that Christmas lights switch ons will take place in Strabane on Saturday 20th November and in Derry on Sunday 21st November. Members were told that following last year’s virtual switch ons, this year it was proposed that the event return to an outdoor event format using different streets in the city and town centres to allow for social distancing.
Aeidin McCarter said, “We are planning a ‘Santa’s Switch On Procession’ which will consist of festive characters, NI Fire and Rescue Service, Panto Characters and beautiful bespoke Christmas themed mobile installations.
“Members of the public attending the Switch On event will be able to view Santa switching on the Christmas lights from a series of city and town centre streets which will allow for the maximum number of people to safely line the routes.”
She added that Business and Culture officers are working closely with the Council’s Environment Directorate to ensure that the various Christmas lighting schemes are complemented by a mix of events and activities to ensure an enriched overall visitor and shopper experience.
Members were also informed that work was ongoing around the Christmas Markets and a further update would be provided on the proposed details and dates at next month’s committee meeting.
Due to the continued indoor restrictions with regards to Covid-19, members were told that the possibility of hosting the Guildhall Craft Fair is unlikely, but that the festive marketing campaign would centre around ‘shop & gift local’, ‘support local’ and ‘your small spend makes a giant difference’ messaging themes to support local businesses and traders.
As part of the update, members also heard that the Council’s Events team are continuing to work closely with the Mayor’s Office on a series of activities that will enable the Mayor to bring Festive fun to communities in the Derry City and Strabane District.
Members voted to approve the overall budget of £80,000, with a further update to come before committee in October.
Business and Culture chair, Cllr Conor Heaney, welcomed the report and thanked Council officers for their work on the programme to date, adding that the festive period is always a positive and exciting time for local people and businesses and that the proposed programme will add to that excitement.
Mayor to Host ‘Supercar Sunday’ for Charity
If you’re a fan of all things cars, there will only be one place to be next month as Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, hosts ‘The Mayor’s Supercar Sunday’ which will see a range of the world’s most exciting supercars on display in the city centre.
The event will take place on Sunday 3rd October when car enthusiasts Gary McCaul and Keith Gamble will bring up to 15 cars that will include supercars such as Lamborghinis, Ferrari and McLarens together with American Muscle cars such as Corvette and the Ford Mustang to Guildhall Square and Harbour Square for the public to get up close and personal with these incredible machines.
Mayor Warke is hosting the special event to raise funds for his Mayor’s charity, Foyle Down Syndrome Trust, and attendees will be invited on the day to donate to the charity, which supports and empowers children and young people with Down syndrome from birth to adulthood.
“I’m really looking forward to this event at the start of October and having got a sneak peek of some of the cars that will be on display I can safely say this is something not to be missed,” said the Mayor.
“We’ve all seen the Lamborghinis and Mustangs on TV and in films, but this is an opportunity to get a close-up look at these magnificent cars.
“I can guarantee that it will be fun for all the family. It’s not often that you get to see so many of these supercars all in one spot, so make sure you call down on Sunday 3rd October and have a look.
“This is all in aid of my chosen Mayor’s charity, Foyle Down Syndrome Trust, who do fantastic work in this city and district. All donations will be hugely appreciated, and all proceeds collected on the day will go directly to helping FDST.”
‘The Mayor’s Supercar Sunday’ will take place on Sunday 3rd October from 12pm to 4pm in Guildhall Square and Harbour Square. Donations can be made on the day to Foyle Down Syndrome Trust or you can donate online.