HEXHAM Abbey has once again embraced a charity campaign aimed at helping those in some of the world’s poorest countries to invest in a brighter future for themselves and their families.

Traidcraft Exchange’s Big Brew campaign arrives in the north transcept on Thursday as the Abbey hosts a fund-raising pop up cafe to celebrate the power of fairtrade.

In 2007, the Abbey started a Fairtrade Fortnight schools’ project which has run every year since.

Representatives from local schools produce artwork based on the work of Traidcraft Exchange, which is then displayed in the Abbey at a special church service.

The Abbey then holds its Big Brew coffee event in conjunction with other Big Brews at each of the schools involved – raising thousands of pounds over the last decade.

Education and engagement officer at Hexham Abbey, Toni Bush, said: “For us it’s about spreading the word about Traidcraft Exchange through our local schools.

“I’d encourage other churches to do the same which will raise the profile of the wonderful work being done overseas and at the same time, improve community engagement in a wider circle of people rather than just our congregation.”

This year, there’s the added advantage that every pound donated by the public before April 11 will be matched by the UK Government, helping to make a tangible difference to the lives of entrepreneurs in developing countries, where business help and support isn’t always freely available.

Chief executive of Traidcraft Exchange, Robin Roth, said that in 2017, almost half of the funds raised during the Big Brew came from kind-hearted church groups.

“The church plays a very important role in the work that we do,” he said.

“Traidcraft was founded with a Christian ethos and those principles are used throughout our work.

“The funding we receive from church groups allows us to make a real difference to the lives of others in developing countries.”

Kate Dixon, the charity’s fund-raising manager, said: “Any church group or individual wishing to take part can get a special Big Brew pack which contains everything you need to host an event.”

For more information or to donate go to www.traidcraft.org.uk/hidden