Believe in Business Beyond Brexit

Helping Hand Environmental division have been honoured to showcase our #BelieveinBusiness ethos at several high profile events this last week.

After winning the Queen’s Award for International Trade – we were invited to present at The Institute of Export and International Trade  #WorldTradeSummit.

The event yesterday; chaired by Lord Popat gave Helping Hand UK Sales Manager, Carly Di Crescienzo the opportunity to showcase what we do and highlight #BuyBritish #SustainableManufacturing #PartnershipWorking principles.

Ahead of Saturday’s critical #Brexit vote , our VP for Sales & Marketing Lara Bryant was asked to feature on BBC Hereford & Worcester Breakfast Show to discuss what impact #Brexit might have on Herefordshire businesses.

Catch Lara’s interview here – though you will need to forward to 1 hour, 12 minutes in to listen in

And read Lara’s Top Tips on how your business can survive #Brexit – deal or no deal!





The C Word

Since Greta Thunberg “Wake Up” speech at the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference earlier this month, the world has been hooked on Climate Action, but what does this really mean? And can we make any difference to the outcome of Climate Change?

The Helping Hand Company is committed to support – Climate Action (UN Sustainable Development Goal 13) but it is important to understand what Climate Action is and how can we help to reduce the amount of carbon we are all producing;  as individuals, families and of course as businesses.

Climate Change is an acute threat to global development. Keeping rising temperatures to below 2 degrees will require coordinated global action, but we can all make a difference locally to implement Climate Action.

At the United Nations conference, five key climate challenges were addresses during the day with speakers presenting case studies of practical solutions to support each challenge. However, we can all take part in developing climate action for positive change, just like our business is doing below.

In support of United Nations Day today – read on how The Helping Hand Company is implementing Climate Action as a business and with our customers.

1 Healthy Energy Systems can prevent dangerous effects from climate change. This can be achieved through a shift toward cleaner energy.

Our Example: accelerate the transition to electric vehicles or cleaner modes of transport by 2030.

  • Our business is investing in greener technology for our fleet of vehicles. Already the majority of senior management team own cars which are fully hybrid or electric.
  • We offer a Bike to Work scheme at both our Hereford and Ledbury manufacturing sites in support of Government legalisation. Our scheme saves over 100 miles of ‘carbon negative’ car journeys every week which comes to 4,800 miles per annum; with our Senior Management team saving over 1,000 miles every year in C02!


2 Inclusive Economic Growth requires climate leadership, clean technology and smarter supply chains.

Our Example: set sustainability targets and built climate resilient supply chains

  • As our company name, suggests, we really care about the environment. As well as our mission to make the whole world litter free and divert as much rubbish as possible from landfill to recycling, we also constantly look for new ways to minimise our environmental impact. From manufacturing as much as possible (KPI of 97%) using recyclable materials to recycled compostable packaging, we aim for zero waste. We also produce recycling kits alongside our products, which can extend their lifespans by 300%.
  • We work with our suppliers to reduce single use plastics, refuse excess packaging and polystyrene entering our factories
  • We work with our customers to help them implement sustainable procurement – #factory2hand

3 Sustainable Communities create buildings, communities and infrastructure that is clean, healthy and liveable.

Our Example: transform our infrastructure through innovation and partnership working

  • We have invested in LED Lighting, Solar Panels and Air Source Heating across our factories reducing our carbon footprint by 75%
  • Our Helping Hand Community Trust, has helped communities in Herefordshire to renovate school and community gardens, redevelop trust premises and our recent Herefordshire Bull project encourages schools to recycle.

4 Land and Ocean Stewardship implementation of climate friendly land use, conservation and agriculture policies

Our Example: transform our communities through innovation and partnership working

  • We worked with 346,012 litter pick volunteers in the first three months of this year alone, providing them not just with litter-pick tools, but also educationally to recycle on the go.
  • As well as supplying more than 90% of all local authorities in the UK, we are the official partners for environmental charities and campaigns in the UK and Europe from Marine Conservation Society, Keep Britain Tidy and Keep Scotland Beautiful to Nederland Schoon in Holland and in Belgium. We work in partnership to implement game changing campaigns to help tackle litter in our communities and encourage the segregation of waste (zero to landfill) in support government legalisation and policies.

5 Transformative Climate Investments encouragement to act in one or more of the following areas: investment, corporate engagement, policy advocacy and investor disclosure.

Our Example: inspire others to implement change which in turn will have global benefit

  • We invest annually in £500K worth of blue sky innovations with our customers to provide game changing solutions to tackle environmental issues.
  • Due to our knowledge, experience and network of partners, we can act as a valued advisor on new environmental litter clearance projects and help link up community groups with local authorities, charities and businesses looking to fund such projects. We have a long-term view on developing sustainable relationships, working with global brands such as McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Costa.

Lastly, if you would like our help and inspire others who may wish to participate in Global Climate Action, please give our team a call on 01531 635678 or contact us





Helping Hand Community Trust – October Project Revealed

We are delighted to announce our next Helping Hand Community Trust project for October – Herefordshire Bull Project!

The Helping Hand Company have been working in association with the inspirational Andrew Wood – chair of UK Litterpicking Groups and the Hereford Community Environment Group and previous chair of Hereford Community Clean Up Group.

Andrew is helping schools across Herefordshire learn more about recycling in fun and innovative ways. He works directly with local schools to help them set up recycling schemes at their school which a local business can then sponsor. Back in June, we sponsored the installation of recycling bins at Colwall Primary School in support this initiative – read the blog article here:

From this initial pilot project of ten schools now over 60% of all Herefordshire schools involved in collecting a variety of recyclable materials at their school. Andrew wanted to take his recycling project one step further and commissioned a ‘Herefordshire Bull’ sculpture which he could take on tour to teach and encourage children to collect recyclable materials – he piloted ‘William’ to collect plastic bottle tops, but the pilot became so successful it gained interest from businesses too. William went on tour across the county and has been present at a lot of festivals and community events through the Summer.

Andrew second bull ‘Jimmy’ which was launched in September – working in partnership with Breast Cancer Haven, Hereford to help collect unwanted bras to give proceeds back to the charity.

Our really exciting news  is thanks to the Helping Hand Community Trust, we will be sponsoring the production of the third ‘Herefordshire Bull’ in partnership for our October community trust project.

The next bull called ‘Brummie’ and will be made by Mark and his team of volunteers at Helping Hand Rotherwas (pictured) who will manufacture the bull using surplus metal bars, carrying on the recycling theme.

Brummie  is a very special bull as he is being made to support the British Legion and SAS Hereford branches in support of Remembrance Day Parade and the Poppy Appeal. The name Brummie has been chosen to honour SAS legend and Herefordshire 22 regiment member, Brummie Stokes. We are delighted to be working with Lynne Stokes, Brummie widower on this project too.

School children across the county will be asked to make poppies to pin onto Brummie for when he tours schools after October half term to get him ready for the Remembrance Day Parade in November. Herefordshire school children will be making poppies out of recyclable materials, again supporting and encouraging children to learn about reusing materials which would of ended up in landfill.

Further announcements to be highlighted throughout October – watch this space!



Costa in the Community

We were delighted to be part of a partnership broadcast on Thursday 10th October with Costa Coffee and the BBC Hereford & Worcester in support of the ‘Costa in the Community’ programme.

Helping Hand Environmental were asked to take part in this broadcast by the BBC to highlight our working partnership with Costa and how our sustainable litter kits are helping Costa stores across the UK clean up litter and engage with their local communities and with a listening audience of 32,000 we wanted to highlight our partnership with Costa to the listeners of Herefordshire.

Hear the full BBC Hereford & Worcester radio interview with Helping Hand UK Sales Manager, Carly Di Crescienzo: which appeared during the evening drive-time show and Friday morning during the half six show.

Since 2014, over 48,139 hours have been donated across 1,300 stores in support of ‘Costa in the Community’ programme. “We really value the long-standing partnership we have with Helping Hand, and it’s great to have it showcased so well during the interview”. Costa Coffee


Cleaning Up Nicely

We were honoured to welcome HM Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire, The Dowager Countess of Darnley CVO to present the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade after growing our export business by 750% in just six years.

The company’s products are manufactured at two facilities in Herefordshire, using sustainable materials and packaging that can be recycled wherever possible. A massive 97% of all Helping Hand Environmental production waste is recycled or reused.

The company prides itself on successfully combining commercial enterprise with socially responsible action which facilities environmental campaigns.

“We are an adaptable business that is not solely focused on the commercial gain of a product sale but more on a sustainable relationship with our customers. This approach makes us unique in our industry,” said Lara Bryant, VP Sales and Marketing

A Herefordshire-based business, sales of professional waste collection tools through HH Environmental division, has defied the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.  Supplying more than 90% of local authorities and waste contractors in the UK, exporting of litter collection hand tools and environmental educational support services to over 20 countries worldwide has been instrumental in its growth.

“We are committed to promoting environmental awareness today for our world tomorrow. Working alongside the Eco Schools programme and other local, national and international environmental education initiatives is a central focus for us – doing something as simple as a litter pick is a great way to engage children in learning about litter.”

“Our mission is to get rid of all the world’s litter – which would mean we’d have no business, but it’s what we want.”

“We support organisations and individuals in tackling litter scattered on pavements, carparks, greenspaces, beaches, rivers and motorways – we need to turn the tide. “

By recycling just 50% of all litter thrown on our streets today, could save £14.8million pounds every year or £40,547 a day.

We can all make a difference – to find out more about our anti-litter consultancy services and how you can make a difference in your area, visit: or give our team a call on 01531 635678.

#SustainableManufacturing #BuyBritish #HerefordshireMeansBusiness


The B Word…

Brexit causes a lot of concerns amongst British exporters whose key overseas trade is within the EU.

With the outcome of negotiations or lack of still unknown, it is tricky for businesses to plan for the future to ensure a smooth transition.

Despite the dual challenge of impending Brexit and competition for cheaper overseas manufacturers, our export revenue has increased 750 per cent in the last six years and winning Helping Hand a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade this year, an accolade we’re incredibly proud of.

Read our key tips on how businesses can grow a global client base despite the tricky economic conditions and uncertain future – based on our own experience.

1) Talk to your customers

Talk of a no-deal Brexit, hard borders and new tariffs have all triggered understandable concern that UK companies will lose many European customers, with some claiming they are already suffering negative impacts. However, there are ways to overcome these issues.

The key thing is to put the customers’ needs at the centre of everything you do. We have worked really closely with all our European customers to ensure we are in a strong position to allay any problems thrown up by Brexit, such as transportation delays or materials shortages. We have robust contingency plans in place to deal with potential hiccups. For instance, we have built up good stocks of our raw materials, so that we can continue to manufacture in the event of a slow-down in supply for at least 90 days.

Even now, no-one knows what is going to happen, but we were proactive in going to our European customers to discuss their concerns and needs to try to pre-empt any issues. For instance, if we have concerns about supply lines shutting down, we can ship products early or even send out the components and put the products together onsite.

Comprehensive preparation has reassured our customers that we remain the supplier best placed to provide them with quality products when they need them, deal or no deal.

2) Don’t compromise on quality

It may be tempting when faced with much cheaper overseas rivals to cut costs wherever possible and compromise the quality of your products. We would warn against this. Customers will pay for quality. The reason the ‘Made in Britain’ tagline is a powerful one is that it is associated with top-quality products.

We have more than 50 years of technical expertise in producing litter clearance tools for local authorities, waste management companies and major brands keen to add litter clearance to their CSR [corporate social responsibility] activities. This has enabled us to refine and innovate to ensure our products are the best available in terms of design, function and durability. We cycle test our litter pickers to 500,000 repetitions.

All this requires investment, but the result is incomparable quality and ergonomics proven from one generation to the next. Our customers trust we will provide them with quality products to CE and ISO standards.

Due to higher overheads, material and staffing costs than south-east Asian rivals, there is no doubt there are far cheaper alternatives out there. Yet our customers across dozens of countries remain loyal because they are happy to pay for better quality. With a much longer lifespan than cheaper versions, our products ultimately offer better value. There is a lesson for everyone there.

3) Keep it green

As our company name, Helping Hand Environmental, suggests, we really care about the environment. As well as our mission to make the whole world litter free and divert as much rubbish as possible from landfill to recycling, we also constantly look for new ways to minimise our environmental impact. From manufacturing as much as possible using recyclable materials to recycled compostable packaging, we aim for zero waste. We also produce recycling kits alongside our products, which can extend their lifespans by 300%.

Our customers care about the carbon footprint of the products. They are working with us to boost their environmental credentials, so it would significantly undermine this if they were to source their tools from a company with a terrible environmental record.

Thankfully, there is also a wider trend towards consumers and companies holding their suppliers to account when it comes to responsible manufacturing and production. Across Europe, more consumers now demand strong environmental credentials when they buy, governments are legislating to reduce emissions and waste and this has a knock-on effect across all markets. Going greener pays in more ways than one.

4) Add value

We refer to ourselves as an anti-litter consultancy and there is a good reason for this. Having supplied the litter collection industry and worked with countless councils, charity projects and national and international campaigns we have a breadth of experience and network of contacts in this area that is unrivalled.

As well as supplying more than 90% of all local authorities in the UK, we are the official partners for environmental charities and campaigns in the UK and Europe from Keep Britain Tidy and Keep Scotland Beautiful to Nederland Schoon in Holland and in Belgium.

We worked with 346,012 litter pick volunteers in the first three months of this year alone, providing them not just with litter-pick tools, but also educational and promotional materials.

This has led to major global brands including McDonalds, Coca Cola and Costa approaching us in relation to their CSR and charity work. Due to our knowledge, experience and network of partners, we can act as a valued advisor on new environmental litter clearance projects and help link up community groups with local authorities, charities and businesses looking to fund such projects.

We are not solely focused on commercial gain, but we have a long-term view on developing sustainable relationships. Our business has grown in tricky conditions because we exceed our customers’ expectations – both at home and abroad – and other UK businesses must do the same.


Kiko Matthews completes her Kik Plastic Tour

The Kik Plastic Tour is now complete and the results are in!

A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to the inspirational Kiko Matthews! What an phenomenal achievement.

🚴🏼‍♀️ 6900 km cycled
🏔climbing 7x Everest sea to summit
👫1960 volunteers joined us
🏖 on 79 beach cleans.
🗑collecting 3436 kg of waste removed.

The amount of litter collected weight the same as 20 male giant pandas! Of this, 859kg was materials that are commonly and easily recycled such as glass bottles, aluminium cans and plastic bottles.

Plastic bottles, tubs and cups were the most common recyclable items found during the beach cleans, accounting for 515kg of 60% of the rubbish collected that could have been recycled. Cans came in second, at 24%followed by glass and paper at 9% and 7% respectively.

For non-recyclable waste, the worst culprit was fishing industry waste, including nets and ropes, found on 48 of the 79 beaches. Flexible plastics – items such as plastic bags, food and confectionary wrappers and crisp packets – also accounted for a significant amount of non recyclable litter.

Helping Hand Environmental  sponsored the first clean up at Margate, then Bude and Great Yarmouth!

Our colleagues have loved taking part with Kiko and donating the tour official litter picking equipment which has helped on 79 beach cleans involving nearly 2,000 volunteers and collecting 3436 kg of litter!


Find out more about the tour and the inspirational Kiko Matthews at

#kikplastic #doneanddusted #beachclean #oceanwaste #oceanplastic #passonplastic #keepbritaintidy #ukcircumnavigation #ireland #cycling

The Helping Hand Company Celebration Event – Thursday 19th September


The Helping Hand Company Celebration Event

On Thursday 19th September, The Helping Hand Company including our Ledbury & Hereford offices will be closed for the afternoon from 12.30 and will reopen again on Friday 20th September at 8.30am.

Today we are honoured to receive the Queens Award for International Trade for 2019 and are celebrating with a summer party.

We thank all our customers, partners and colleagues who have helped make this possible.


Gavin James

Managing Director

The eye watering costs of keeping our streets clean revealed

The latest government figures revealed that councils in the county spent £12.7 million on street cleaning in 2018/19.

The amount spent on street cleaning in the last year was up from £12.3 million in 2017/18.

Nottingham City Council was the local authority in England that spent the most on street cleaning – a total of £4.4m last year.

And the problem was worst in district councils in Ashfield, where the council spent £3m ridding their roads and pavements of rubbish – which works out at £23.52 per person.

It compares to the lowest amount in the county at £5.31 per head spent in Newark and Sherwood, which came to £600,000 in total on tidying the streets.

Across Nottinghamshire, councils spent £15.7m on bins and more than the £12.7 million on street cleaning:

Nottingham City Council

For 2018/19, the city council spent £4,429,000 on street cleaning – which works out as £13.38 per head.

This figure includes costs for staff, supervision, fleet, fuel, equipment, overheads, and all street cleansing and grounds maintenance activity.

Residents in the city said it was “disappointing” to hear the council have to spend millions on keeping the city clean – money that could be better spent elsewhere on council housing as an example.

Nottingham City Council’s deputy leader, councillor Sally Longford added: “It’s a shame to have to spend this amount of money cleaning up after fly-tippers when funding is so tight and there is a free bulky waste collection available.

“We are constantly trying to raise awareness of the free bulky waste collection service, especially in areas where fly-tipping of household waste is more prevalent, as well as carrying out enforcement against fly-tippers.

“While these costs are high, they have been reduced in real terms over the last five years, indicating that the message about our free bulky waste collection is getting through – with around 1,000 collections a week and over 48,000 items collected a year.”


Ashfield District Council

Ashfield District Council spent more money on cleaning up litter and fly tipping than it did on bin collections.

The council spent more than twice as much on street cleaning in 2018/19 as they did on waste collection – £1.3m.

Councillor Helen Ann-Smith, deputy leader of the council and portfolio holder for Streets, Parks and Town Centres said: “We are proud to be spending this money to ensure that Ashfield is a clean district, where littering, dog fouling and fly tipping are challenged.

“We are committed to keeping our district clean and tidy. We have joined forces with other authorities in Nottinghamshire to create the Cleaner Nottinghamshire Group.

“This partnership, which allows us to share information on fly-tipping, along with our past and current projects, demonstrate our dedication to ensuring that Ashfield has a clean environment.”


Broxtowe Borough Council

The borough council spent £674,000 last year on cleaning its streets – a total of £5.95 per person.

Councillor Helen Skinner, chairwoman of the environment and climate change committee, said: “We’re incredibly proud of our ‘Street Cleansing Team’ who empty 1,200 litter bins each week and collect 1,500 tonnes of litter every year.

“The team is made up of four area based teams across our town centres, which enables them to develop local knowledge of their patch and use this to make best use of our resources.

“They have  a real sense of responsibility and pride in their areas which has helped us achieved a cost effective service and a cleanliness level of 96 percent in 2018/19.”


Gedling Borough Council

Gedling Borough Council spent £790,000 on street cleaning last year – a total of £6.71 per head.

Leader of Gedling Borough Council, councillor John Clarke said: “For our residents the appearance and cleanliness of the areas where they live is of the upmost important.

“Our annual budget for street cleansing ensures that over 578 kilometres or roads are swept, 800 litter bins are emptied on a daily basis, 1,300 kilos of litter is collected and that our town centres and roads outside schools are maintained and kept clean.

“This year’s budget includes further investment in frontline services, including the introduction of a new ‘Rapid Response Cleaning Team’, to further strengthen efforts to deal with litter, dog fouling and fly tipping.”


Rushcliffe Borough Council

The borough council spent £809,000 on keeping its streets tidy last year – which works out as £6.88 per head.

Executive manager for neighbourhoods, Dave Banks, said: “Clean roads are important to us to help make Rushcliffe a great place and we continually look at ways to smarten our streets and listen to residents’ feedback on where we can further improve our services.


Mansfield District Council

The district council spent £1.56m on street cleaning last year – a total of £14.40 per person.

Councillor Amanda Fisher, portfolio for safer communities and wellbeing, said: “We work hard to maintain Mansfield so that it is a clean and welcoming district. We want people to be proud of their community and we will always take action where we can against those who fly-tip in our district.”

A council spokesman added fly-tipping figures in Mansfield were the lowest in the first three months of this year compared to any three-month period in the last two to three years.



And The Winner Is…

Thank you for all the nominations for our #LoveParks toolkit competition.
From setting up a Litter Hit squad; community groups that are out Litterpicking every weekend; a family out litterpicking every day – you are our #LitterHeroes – thank you.
Every nomination has been put into the hat and the following 5 lucky winners of a #LoveParks Toolkit are:
– The Pick Up Artists
– Newquay Litter Heroes
– Tamworth Volunteer Litterpickers
– Thornby Community Litter Project
– Tidy Up n Adur
Our #LoveParks competition kit is on its way too you – many congratulations!
Can we personally congratulate all the nominees for all the outstanding work you do – you are all winners making a difference.
Don’t forget to tag & share your stories – and watch this space for new campaigns coming up in 2019.