Margaret Davis awarded Cross of St Piran
Eighteen years ago, Margaret was challenged by a call from her vicar at Gerrans church to get involved with Fairtrade. She mulled the idea over and it appealed to her because of her background in retail and belief that everyone should care more about the way people are treated who grow and produce our food, and so she agreed.
This year, when accounts were drawn up, they showed that over the past 10 years, the project has turned over £52,000, generating income for Fairtrade and supporting the church. Of that, £6000 went to Fairtrade Exchange as a direct donation over and above money raised from sales.
“Everything will come right,” she says. “I’m not religious, I just believe in God!”
Margaret’s grandfather opened the family business in Truro in 1911 and Margaret was born above it, in Bridge Street. If retail is in her blood, then so is a strong sense of justice. Margaret is troubled by a world that wants more than it needs and supporting Fairtrade helps to redress that – the world can only be changed if individuals make a change. “Everything will come right,” she says. “I’m not religious, I just believe in God!”
Waiting to be confirmed until she was 34, faith is something Margaret takes seriously but joyfully, underpinning her life. It gives her a quiet assurance that, “You’ll get through with faith.” Margaret believes that prayer helped her Royal Marine grandson, Matthew, return safely from two tours of Afghanistan.
Over the years, Margaret’s efforts have inspired others to catch the vision to shop in a way that can make a difference. She now has a team of volunteers, from the church and community, who help to spread the word and share the belief that life can be fairer.
They have a Fairtrade stall in church, all the coffee, tea and biscuits are Fairtrade, and hold coffee mornings, dinners and other pop-up community events to raise the profile and support the work of the charity. Gerrans is a popular holiday destination, extending the reach of Margaret and her teams efforts, and it is said that, “No-one leaves without at least an introduction to the vital importance of shopping with justice.”
Although full of appreciation, Margaret was acutely embarrassed to receive this award. Her philosophy on doing what you can to make a difference is simple, “Got to live that way. You have your faith and that’s it.”