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28 April 2020

Have you heard of the term ‘knolling’?  It describes the process of arranging objects in parallel or 90-degree angles as a method of organisation.  Photographers often use this technique by grouping together objects that are related, such as clothes, or items with an interesting colour palette, then photographing them from above.  We decided to use this idea to encourage our volunteers to mark our 30th anniversary by gathering and photographing items that represent what Shared Interest means to them.

Volunteer Engagement Manager, Sally Seddon said: “We were looking for a creative way to celebrate our 30th anniversary with all volunteers, and wanted to learn more about which aspects of Shared Interest resonate most with people who invest their time with us.

“We wanted to do something that was accessible to everyone, regardless of how long they had been a Shared Interest volunteer. We knew this was something people could do from the comfort of their own home.  We did not know at the time, but this aspect was to become increasingly important.

“We also wanted to give volunteers an opportunity to share something personal to them.”

The initial idea was to create a display for our 30th anniversary member event but as this was postponed due to developments with Covid-19, we hope to have an opportunity to show them at future events.

Here, Ambassador, Margaret Newens from Milton Keynes, explains her choice of items:

  • A key ring made by the Maasai women of Namayiana, which was given to all those attending the AGM and Members’ Day when they were guest speakers. Always with me!
  • Silk necklace made in Cambodia and bought from another stallholder attending a Fair Trade Christmas Fayre.
  • The best perfumes to attract interest in our Shared Interest stall and to use at home! My favourites from Dalit Goods are the sandal soap and lavender-scented candles in their pretty little clay pots.
  • The first Fairtrade olive oil, always in my kitchen cupboard. Loved to tell visitors to our stall how Shared Interest’s lending supported Zaytoun and the Palestinian Fair Trade Association in their early years.
  • Co-op Irresistible Fairtrade chocolate bars. Always in my cupboard and often taken to stalls because the cocoa comes from Peru’s smallholder farming co-ops in Northern Province, such as ACOPAGRO – a customer of Shared Interest.


Sally We hope you enjoy reading and seeing these memories and meaningful items as much as we did. So great to learn more about those who volunteer with us.


Win Kennedy Ingenious! What a nice idea.....


Richard Loved it. Splendid. Enjoy the chocolate!


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