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Oxfam Fair Trade Way Walk

A group of Oxfam supporters are walking the Fair Trade Way -- an inspiring long-distance journey to connect Fairtrade Towns and stories in the North West of England. You can follow their progress here.


  1. Charles tells us of his two days on the far trade way ...
  2. Ben Wallace MP: “I support Fairtrade, which enables people in less advantage countries to help themselves.  Fairtrade is a hand up, not a hand out, which I believe to be the best kind of aid.  I am privileged to have the world’s first Fairtrade Town, Garstang, in my constituency and support the charity in any way I can.”
  3. Bruce Crowther: We'd like to thank:

    - all those that walked the whole way and those that joined us for a few days or just a few minutes. - all those that helped to organise the full walk and evening events, arrange meetings with MPs and send out Press Releases- our wonderful hosts who fed us so well and and provided much needed warm and dry beds for the night- those who attended and/or spoke at our storytelling events those that provided venues for the storytelling events and stayed open to welcome us - The Co-op store in Keswick for providing celebratory fair trade sparkling wine and Anna for her excellent Fair Trade Way cake- all those that met with us along the way and spent time to talk to us about fair trade, including MP's in Lancaster and Bowness - the media for showing an interest and providing the all important press and radio coverage - those that brought fair trade giants from Chester and therapeutic Llamas from Penrith to greet us  - those that filmed us and showed incredible skill in editing our words so people actually listened - those that sell fair trade products along the way -  those that allowed us to put up way markers on the route - those that provided blister pads the producers and fair trade companies that provided us with chocolate and other fair trade snacks - Jim for his excellent savoury, rambling flapjacks; only available at The FIG Tree - all those that sent words of support (especially when the rain was falling hard) via text and email that I have not been able to respond to - the RAF for their excellent low level fly pasts; honest! - The Co-op for sponsoring the Fair Trade Way  - all those that made donations; IT IS STILL NOT TOO LATE GO TO:  - and last but by no means least all those that I may have forgotten but are still truly valued; please forgive me.
    What did we achieve? As so often is the case with campaigning we will perhaps never now the full impact of our efforts, but in line with the the theme of Mahatma Gandhi quotes told throughout our six day journey I'd like to leave you with this one from the great man:

    “It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”

    Abbie Huff: On Wednesday 29th August, I had the privilege of taking part in the Fair Trade way: a walk to celebrate the Fair Trade movement as well as to connect with local communities and share stories of its challenges and triumphs. Once home to the likes of Wordsworth and Coleridge, the walk from Grasmere to Keswick took place in a truly poetic landscape. The views were breath-taking.

    With my 4.45am alarm coupled with the poor forecast and the heavy rain hitting Heather’s car windscreen on the journey to Grasmere, I wondered what the day would bring: sore feet, soggy clothes and fatigue? I am not going to lie; those three things certainly played a part in the day but thankfully, a very small one. We did not let the weather rain on our parade (even though it may have done literally)!

    In fact, the day was hugely inspiring- and not only because it made me realise how unfit I was compared to the rest of group who marched on despite injuries and blisters! These walkers had dedicated their time and energy to this walk, to this fantastic cause. Their enthusiasm remained despite the thunder and lightning and the rain that poured incessantly. Bruce Crowther, founder of the Fairtrade town movement and Push Krishnamurthy, a campaigner who has walked all over the world in the name of climate justice, were just two of the fair trade heroes I had the chance to walk and talk with. Likewise, everyone I spoke to said that the highlight of the walk was the people; the way that the group inspired one another was incredible. It was like a domino-effect. I was even told by some members of the group that the younger members gave them hope for the future and for the generations to come. Certainly, this gave me confidence in my own hopes and dreams, and showed me that everyone has the power to make a difference. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “you must be the change you want to see in the world”.

    Thanks to these people, hopefully one day, one day in the not-so-distant future, every world citizen will have enough to eat and every farmer will get a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work. 

  4. Strong walkers - just entered keswick
    Strong walkers - just entered keswick
  5. Frank Eastham: Sitting at home, chilling out this morning and reflecting. Having walked for only 3 of the 6 days, (only 1 small blister), I find myself suffering from withdrawal symptoms. The rain I can take or leave, but - I'm missing the company of all those committed people I met on the way. Thanks to all of you for an enjoyable time. Really wishing I'd become involved properly in the whole 6 days! Keep up the good work! 

    A little video interview taken by Push with our walk captain Graham
  6. Fair way walk From Garstang to Keswick- 24 Aug to 29 Aug 2012-UK
  7. Our journey was to raise awareness but any financial support is greatly welcomed too of course - thank you to everyone who contributed along the way.
  8. The story of day 6 of the Fair Trade Way: Grasmere to Keswick


    Once upon a rainy morning a group of intrepid fair walkers met in Grasmere by the grave of Wordsworth ready to complete their final day of walking the Fair Trade Way (this time).


    The route had to be altered for a lower version due to the terrible weather forecast – but that didn’t dampen our spirits. Over hill and stream we went, admiring waterfalls and squelching through forests. Thunder, lightning and fighter planes all tried to scare us off but to no avail.


    Finally we were rewarded and the sun came to see us in to Keswick. Then Push removed his shoes to walk barefoot the final few miles – showing us all that the path to fairness isn’t easy.


    A spring was put in all our steps when we saw the kind folks from llama karma cafe come to join us and walk us in with llamas Rico and Bilby. Lots of people came to find out what was going on and it gave us a chance to talk about our journey.


     We finally ended up at Moot Hall – where the mayors of both Garstang and Keswick came to greet us and it was a chance to renew Keswick’s certification as a fair trade town and to meet lots of the amazing local people who keep that commitment alive!


    Story Telling time


    After convincing the llamas that no they couldn’t come into the Keswick Oxfam shop no matter how much they might want to, we enjoyed a wonderful party to celebrate the end of our walk and Oxfam’s 70th birthday!


    There were stories, poems and songs – not to mention a beautiful cake! Taffy Thomas was a particular highlight reminding us stories don’t have to be real to have real meaning and that we are made to listen since we have two ears and one tongue not two tongues and one ear!

    HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who made this journey possible - walkers, story tellers, hosts along the way, the originators/ organisers, the people of Fair Trade towns etc.


    Where will the journey go next? That’s for you to help decide! 

    Day 6 in Pictures

  9. A beautiful cake to celebrate the walk and Oxfam's 70th birthday
    A beautiful cake to celebrate the walk and Oxfam's 70th birthday
  10. Taffy Thomas telling stories in the Keswick Oxfam shop
    Taffy Thomas telling stories in the Keswick Oxfam shop
  11. Stuart in the Keswick shop
    Stuart in the Keswick shop
  12. Day 6 in Pictures:
  13. Llamas want to shop at Oxfam too
    Llamas want to shop at Oxfam too
  14. Happy to have arrived to the keswick shop
    Happy to have arrived to the keswick shop
  15. The mayors of Grastang and Keswick discussing fair trade
    The mayors of Grastang and Keswick discussing fair trade
  16. Push walks bare foot with a llama into Keswick
    Push walks bare foot with a llama into Keswick