Chocs lady quizzed by school press

Left to right: Sasha Lloyd-Briscoe, Martha Adeyinka, Jo Fairley (co-founder of Green & Blacks), Jessica Webb (behind), Jade Firth (front) and Jordan Foley.
Left to right: Sasha Lloyd-Briscoe, Martha Adeyinka, Jo Fairley (co-founder of Green & Blacks), Jessica Webb (behind), Jade Firth (front) and Jordan Foley.
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HELENSWOOD students took on the role of journalists at school when they had the chance to interview a successful businesswoman.

Jo Fairley, co-founder of Green & Black’s Chocolate, visited the school and spoke with year seven pupils in a classroom ‘press conference’.

The students were taking part in a project exploring diversity and how different people contribute to the town.

The girls worked on their questioning and article writing skills with former Helenswood pupil and journalist, Jane Hughes.

Mrs Fairley began by outlining how she left school at 16 to work as a secretary and, by 23, had become Britain’s youngest magazine editor.

Together with her husband, Craig Sams, she went on to co-found Green & Blacks and, after moving to Hastings in 2002, turned Judges Bakery in the Old Town into an organic food store.

During the Q&A session students found out that her mentor was Body Shop founder Anita Roddick, that Green & Black’s Fairtrade policy had transformed the lives of its cocoa growers in Belize, and that her favourite foods are bread and chocolate.

Many pupils said they were inspired by her achievements.

Lucy Monk, headteacher, said: “We were thrilled to be able to host Jo Fairley here at Helenswood. Our students were honoured to be able to interview such a successful and inspiring woman.

“As a school we seek out women who have embodied our values to inspire our girls. We want them to really believe that they can reach for and achieve anything if they work hard enough and demonstrate the qualities of a well-mannered member of our community.

“We would like to thank Jo for giving up her time to visit us and we hope to see her again at Helenswood sometime in the future.”