14 years ago a young girl called Gracie Hadley won the competition to design a new kind of chocolate bar for kids. Dubble was born, and Grace's prize changed her life...Here she tells her own Dubble story.
I entered the competition to design the chocolate bar during a period of great upheaval. I was busy doing lots of arts and crafts projects because I loved being creative and me and my Mum were having difficulty finding housing so it took my mind off all kinds of things. We were about to become homeless when I entered the competition and we were living in temporary housing when we went to Ghana and saw the beginning of the chocolate production chain. Though me and my Mum were downhearted, the spirit and warmth of the Ghanaian people and the contrast between the way of life there and here again, shifted my whole perspective about life. I realised how lucky I was to even eat chocolate like Dubble and Divine once in my life- let alone habitually. The people who accompanied us from Comic Relief were also so encouraging and lovely that it lifted my spirits for a long time and contributed to my confidence.
Dubble bars are fun and delicious- the best kind of combination! When I won the competition and the prize to go to Ghana, we tried filming bits of my experiences with a cameraman who had come from the BBC. I distinctly remember trying to eat one on camera in an open square in Ghana. Not being trained for TV (I think I was 10) I found the whole experience fairly intimidating but I remember laughing when half the chocolate had melted and ended up all over my hands and ran up my arm. Seeing the work involved in growing and harvesting cocoa- in that kind of heat- changed my mind about food forever. If even half the children growing up in the UK could be made aware of the kind of effort (again, I think of the heat!!) and the kind of pay that people receive for growing crops, then I think all sorts of things would change.
POST SCRIPT ...
Grace Hadley is now 25 and working at the Cambridge Arts Theatre where we caught up with her all these years later. It was lovely to meet her, and she said:
It is so lovely to hear from you, though sad to hear that Dubble is being discontinued. I completely understand that the market has changed and it is incredible to think how mainstream Fairtrade chocolate and other products have become in collective consumer awareness over the course of my life. I think the Divine brand is extremely strong, I personally love the whole range, as do our customers at the theatre. We were selling Dubble to children last week who came to see ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’. I still get a Divine advent calendar each year from my Mum (I’m aged 25 now). I imagine that lots of other children and young people like me have grown up with an awareness of Fairtrade thanks to your hard work and have gained an appreciation of your fantastic products.