Westholme School, Blackburn

March 7, 2018: Westholme School, Blackburn

A fifteen minute presentation to 200 year ten to thirteen students, and forty minute presentations to two classes of year nines.  It is worth noting note how the invitation  to speak at Westholme came about.  A Westholme sixth former who is parishioner at St Mary’s in Todmorden became aware of human trafficking via Fr Peter Hopkinson and our trafficking materials at the back of the church and suggested the school do something.  It happened that one of the teachers had heard Anthony Brown speak at St Wilfred’s in Preston and another had heard him at Lancaster at Donna Worthington’s play, Blackbirds at Dawn.

The students were particularly receptive and asked a number of insightful questions e.g. why do victims not testify.  The school was having a Fairtrade stall that day and we were able to make links between modern day slavery and Fairtrade.  One student, who had grasped that our western way of life depends on exploitative  working practices, asked the highly pertinent question of what would happen if everybody stopped buying cheap goods and bought Fairtrade.

At lunch we sold Mama Margaret’s key rings and talked to students.  We met the sixth former from Burnley who was happy to represent the Medaille Trust at her church.

We will offer further support to Westholme who want to extend awareness in the school and are exploring the idea of giving out leaflets in Blackburn.