Sunderland young people shine a light on child labour in the fashion industry

Jax Cadger (front) with three of the YMCA members who attended a workshop in London about child labour in clothing production;  showing the illustrations they produced to hammer their message home. They are, from left; Stewart Miller 19, Kelvin Pinchard 21, and Keifer Little, 17
Jax Cadger (front) with three of the YMCA members who attended a workshop in London about child labour in clothing production; showing the illustrations they produced to hammer their message home. They are, from left; Stewart Miller 19, Kelvin Pinchard 21, and Keifer Little, 17
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FOUR young people took their findings about the darker side of fashion to a national conference.

The team, who met at Sunderland YMCA, became interested in child labour after tackling a project on the clothes industry.

They decided to showcase their new-found knowledge with an awareness-raising event at the centre in Hendon.

Visiting funders were so impressed that they invited them to lead an hour-long workshop at the Rolling Globe conference in London.

The celebration of global learning was organised by charities Oxfam and Y Care International and brought together speakers and workshops on a range of global issues.

Kiefer Little, 17, Stewart Miller, 19, Kelvin Pinchard, 21, and Ben Richardson, 19, who all live in Sunderland, spoke about their project, showed a video they had made and led a discussion about child labour.

They also made up T-shirts in a bid to drive their message home about child labour, which is illegal in many countries.

Kiefer, 17, said: “We were really nervous because we had about a week to prepare, but it was great. We didn’t want to come home.”

Co-ordinator Jacqueline Cadger, 27, helped oversee the young people’s work.

She said: “The original aim of the project was for them to learn life skills and to look at how making a small difference can make a big difference.

“The feedback they got from the funders was great.

“It was a terrific opportunity for them to go to London.

“They were very nervous because there had to be some changes last minute. The nerves kicked in the night before, but they were amazing.”

Sunderland YMCA runs courses and activities for young people aged from 16 who are not in education or training, which are open to non-residents.

Its base in Toward Road is home to about 50 young homeless people, who live in one-bedroom flats.

For more information, tel. 567 6160

Twitter: @janethejourno