Charity, Education, Podcasts

Rainbow Turtle Rebooted – John Riches Interview – Part 1

John Riches of JTS, The Balmore Trust and Gavin’s Mill, talks to Rainbow Turtle about his life and fair trade.

In part 1 of a two part interview, John tells interesting stories of working in a refugee camp in Austria after the 2nd world war, of being a chaplain at Cambridge University at the height of the student protests in the late 60s, of working in the Transkei in South Africa during the apartheid era and meeting anti-apartheid activist, Steve Biko.

He covers his time at Glasgow University teaching about the new testament in the bible and following a student out to Burmah to meet local villagers trying to live under the oppressive regime there. We end this episode in Glasgow during the late 1970s where he is teaching divinity to students and wrestling with the concept of how to help those struggling in developing countries around the world.

Charity, Education, Fair Trade Fortnight, Podcasts

Rainbow Turtle Rebooted Series 2 taster

We’re in the final stages of preparing series 2 of our podcast, Rainbow Turtle Rebooted. We thought that we’d put out a wee taster as preparation for the start.

In this new series we have interviews with:

  • John Riches, founder of JTS, Professor of Divinity and Episcopal church minister.
  • Mary Popple, member of St. Andrew’s fair trade group and chairperson of JTS.
  • Kiera Wilkins, development officer with the Scottish Fair Trade Forum and one of the founders of the Alternative Coffee Co. A social enterprise set up to link fair trade coffee producers with specialty coffee roasters in the UK.

We hope to have our first episode of this new series out for the beginning of fair trade fortnight 2023 on Monday 27th February.

Charity, Education, Podcasts

Rainbow Turtle Rebooted – Series 2

We’re excited to announce that we’ve started planning the 2nd series of our podcast, Rainbow Turtle Rebooted. We hope to have the first episode out for the beginning of Fair Trade Fortnight 2023. Look out for our taster episode that will be coming out in the next couple of weeks.

If you’d like to be notified when our next episode is published please subscribe to our series through your favourite podcast provider.

For those of you who are new to our podcast, you can find all our previous episodes here.

Charity, Fair Trade Fortnight

Fair Trade Fortnight Ceilidh

After the great success of our anniversary ceilidh last year, we’d like to give you an early warning of our upcoming ceilidh on Saturday 11th March from 7 to 11pm at the Methodist Central Hall in Paisley. We’re delighted to announce that Tuesday International will be our band for that evening. The cost has still to be confirmed, but we’d like to make it family friendly and open to as many as we can.

As usual refreshments will be provided along with a raffle. BYOB, no alcohol, please!

This ceilidh will be a fund raiser for Rainbow Turtle’s charitable work.

Tickets are now available from our Paisley shop in Gauze Street, or from Eventbrite. Tickets cost £6 for adults and £3 per child plus Eventbrite’s booking fees if buying online.

Scan the QR code for Eventbrite link
Charity, Education, Fair Trade Fortnight

Fair Trade Coffee Morning

As part of our celebration of fair trade fortnight, and in conjunction with The Alternative Coffee Co. and The Gatehouse Coffee Roasters, we’d like to invite you to our fair trade coffee morning on Saturday 4th March, 10:30am, at The Life Church, Moss Street, Paisley.

Nate from The Gatehouse Coffee Roasters will pour you a cup of freshly brewed, single origin, speciality coffee. The coffee is sustainable and grown and produced with respect for the environment and the farmers. It tastes great and it feels great!

Kiera from Scottish Fair Trade Forum will talk to us about a different way of shaping trade relations across the globe based upon the example of The Alternative Coffee Company. This new coffee supplier is changing business locally and globally by making it more personal and fair.

We will also have delicious fresh baking (available for small donations), which will pair nicely with the coffee and set you up for the rest of the day.

Rainbow Turtle will also provide a stall with a selection of fairly traded and environmentally sustainable goods. Both cash and cards are accepted.

The event is free, but donations will be welcome to help us cover the cost of the hall hire and to organise future events. Book your place with this EventBrite link.

Charity, Education, Fair Trade Fortnight

Fair Trade Chocolate Tasting

As a preparation for fair trade fortnight this year, we would like to welcome you to our exciting chocolate tasting event on Saturday 11th February at 12:30pm in the Methodist Central Hall, Paisley.

We have invited Juan Andres from Pacari Chocolates UK to come and take us on a journey through the world of chocolate. Listen to his expert knowledge and try out delicious, organic, vegan, WFTO (World Fair Trade Organisation) certified bean-to-bar chocolate from Ecuador. We are already salivating!

Get your tickets by using the enclosed EventBrite link. Ticket are priced at £15.


Rainbow Turtle wins Scottish Fair Trade award

Rainbow Turtle’s fair trade business award

At the Scottish Fair Trade Forum’s online award ceremony on the 10th November, Rainbow Turtle won the Fair Trade Business Award. In their presentation they said:

Our first winner is a Fair Trade shop that has recently celebrated 20 years in business. Based in Paisley, it offers a high street retail shop for customers from Paisley, Renfrewshire and the surrounding area. It has also been a centre and catalyst of Fair Trade campaigning in its local communities. Congratulations to our winner – Rainbow Turtle.

In response director, Colum Scriven, thanked them saying:

Thanks to the Scottish Fair Trade Forum for the award. It’s particularly lovely that it has been given to us in our 20th year.

I’d like to dedicate this award it to all the volunteers, staff, trustees and directors of Rainbow Turtle, both current and former. They are the heartbeat of Rainbow Turtle. I’d also like to acknowledge the part played by the people of Paisley and of Renfrewshire for the support that they give to us. 

In a world where big systems seem to hold sway and where we’re troubled by war, economic problems and impending environmental disaster, I would like to recognise the difference that the small people make. For me it’s the small things that create the big changes. Where we, the small people in Paisley, can have a big effect on the world. Paisley is a place where someone can buy a bag of rice from our shop that can benefit a farmer and his or her family in Malawi. This story never reaches the news but for me it is far more important.

I’m grateful to the work that the Scottish Fair Trade Forum does in supporting the links with the other fair trade organisations in Scotland. For me fair trade is about community because we have to work together to make a positive difference.


Rainbow Turtle Charity AGM 2022

We’re delighted to announce our charity’s AGM on Tuesday 25th October 2022 at 7pm at the Methodist Central Halls in Paisley (Smithhills Street entrance). Tea and coffee will be provided. All welcome. Please email if you plan to attend.

The business section of the meeting will be followed by a talk by Kiera Wilkins of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum about the Alternative Coffee Company from Nate Strawser of The Gatehouse Coffee Roasters in Paisley who roasts their Rwandan coffee. There will be an opportunity to sample some Rwandan Coffee from the Alternative Coffee Co.

Enclosed are the papers for the meeting (please click on the link to open the relevant paper):

  1. Agenda
  2. Minutes of AGM 2021
  3. Chair’s report
  4. Financial report

Charity, Education, Shop

Rainbow Turtle’s birthday celebration in the PDE

The Paisley Daily kindly printed a double page spread on Friday of our birthday celebrations from the 31st August as well as photos from the past, marking our 20 years in Paisley.

Page 6 from Paisley Daily Express 2/9/22
Page 7 from Paisley Daily Express 2/9/22
Charity, Shop

Celebrate our 20th anniversary with us

We’d love it if you could join us in our celebrations on the 31st August and/or 3rd September. Follow the link below to book your free (but ticketed) ceilidh tickets.


Rainbow Turtle: 20 years of campaigning for Fair Trade in Renfrewshire.
Come and join us in our celebrations and share your stories with us

Book your ceilidh tickets

If you can’t make either event please drop us a line and share your stories about Rainbow Turtle.