Litter Innovation Fund Open for Applications

The Litter Innovation Fund (LIF), is a £450,000 programme, funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

The Overall aim is to reduce litter by funding innovative approaches to pilot, implement and evaluate small scale local research projects that could be replicated more widely.

The lead organisation must be one of the organisations listed below:

  • Community Interest Company (CIC)
  • Industrial Provident Society (IPS) or co-operatives
  • Local Authorities (including principle authorities, parish, and/or town councils)
  • National Park Authorities
  • Broads Authorities
  • Registered Social Landlords
  • Charities
  • Development trust
  • Faith group
  • Educational institutions
  • Scouts, Guides and National Citizen Service
  • Business – Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) e.g. retail, food chains, event management etc.

How the fund works

The fund provides Grants up to £10,000. It is intended to be used to help investigate and implement innovative ways of reducing litter arisings.

A total of £45,000 of grant funding has been set aside for projects aimed specifically at reducing litter entering the marine environment.

All projects should be completed within a six-month timescale from date of award.

The Application process will operate in two phases.

Phase 1 – Expression of Interest (EOI): At this stage we are seeking applicants contact details and an overview of the project with key details to allow the assessment panel to make a judgement if the project is suitable to make a full application to the fund. Please complete the form below to access the document. Once complete, please e-mail to

Phase 2 – Full application: From the submitted EOI’s suitable applicants will be invited to submit a full application. Those applications received that provide the required level of information will be reviewed by the panel on a competition basis and awarded grant funding until the budget is fully expended.

All applicants will be judged against our core criteria and notified of the panel’s decision.

Initial Timescales

  • Expression of Interest – closes 26 September
  • Assessment period – 27 September – 13 October
  • Invite submission of full applications – w/c 16 October
  • Application round closes – 17 November
  • Following this initial round, further tranches will be made available, dates to be announced.
  • For info project applicants should demonstrate how they will answer the following questions through their proposed project monitoring and evaluation:
  • Has the project been successful in achieving the intended impacts?
  • Have there been any unintended impacts?
  • What would improve the project in future?
  • The following should be considered:
  • What are the key indicator(s) for the project
  • How frequently does data need to be collected
  • How long does data need to be collected in order to see whether the changes have occurred
  • How to demonstrate that the project, rather than any other external factors, has resulted in a positive change
  • Using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data

Should you need a copy of the application form please visit

Costa Coffee hosts Reading Week to improve UK literacy levels

Costa Coffee is inviting customers to join them in their 2nd annual reading week, taking place from 11th – 17th September 2017. Parents, teachers and children are welcome to come down to the store and enjoy a range of literacy themed activities on offer that aim to teach children about the environment, whilst also enjoying a free hot or cold beverage.

Reading Week is held in partnership with The National Literacy Trust, The Police Community Clubs of Great Britain, Keep Britain Tidy and Helping Hand Environmental. Taking place in over 500 stores nationwide, the initiative is designed to spark children’s interest in reading, aiming to tackle low literacy levels across the UK, an issue that is currently said to cost the UK economy £2.5 billion every year.

The 500+ participating stores have been handpicked based on new analysis from the National Literacy Trust and Experian which identifies the areas in England with the greatest vulnerability to literacy problems. Together, they have created a Literacy Vulnerability Score for every electoral ward and parliamentary constituency in England. This combines the charity’s understanding of the socioeconomic factors most closely associated with low literacy – such as education, income and unemployment – with Experian’s data expertise. The Literacy Vulnerability Score pinpoints the areas in England with the most acute literacy problems and where the greatest level of support is required.

The Litter Heroes storybooks will be available to read in store and have been specially created for Costa Reading Week, featuring a new story from Barney & Echo about litter and responsibility in our communities. Environmental activities booklets will also be available for children to complete, and have been designed to help stimulate young minds to begin to think about their environment and how sustainability can impact their personal choices. Costa team members will be on hand to act as reading hosts and encourage children to spend time reading with their parents or carers. Helping Hand Environmental will also be running a Design Your Own Litter Picker competition where the winning entrant will have their design manufactured for them to keep.


“Reading Week is part of a wider initiative established to enable Costa’s team members to make a difference to their local communities,” said Sandy Gourlay, Charity and Community Manager, Costa Coffee, “building on our commitment to the literacy agenda, we are thrilled to be able to work with partners to welcome young people to our stores this week to enjoy a good book.”

Head of Partnerships at National Literacy Trust, Lisa Rootes, added, “We have recently commissioned a report that revealed up to 40% of people in disadvantaged areas of the UK have literacy problems, which has a significant impact on their career prospects. Lacking vital literacy skills holds a person back at every stage of their life. This initiative is great as it really gets to the heart of these communities and looks to tackle to the problem.”

Costa employees will also donate approximately 30,000 ‘Barney and Echo’ books, provided by the Police Community Clubs of Great Britain, directly to their local schools. Ian Jackson, UK Project Director for Police Community Clubs, described the partnership: “Working with the team at Costa is incredibly rewarding. Their commitment to their communities coupled with their boundless energy and enthusiasm has been instrumental in creating Costa Reading Week. This week-long in-store activity will have benefits for children not only in educating them about their own environment, but will also allow them the joy of spending quality time reading with a parent, teacher or guardian. I’m certain that this fun and worthwhile project will stay with them as a positive experience throughout their young lives.”

Keep Britain Tidy, a charity partner of Costa, plays a role in increasing the long-term impact of Reading Week, by encouraging participating stores to work towards a prestigious Eco-School qualification.

Lee Wray-Davies, Eco-Schools Manager, Keep Britain Tidy, commented: “We are delighted to be supporting Costa’s Reading Week this year. If we are to prevent the littering and waste that blights our country and our planet, educating the next generation so that they do better than we have done is vital. The key messages and lessons delivered through Reading Week are very much in line with our Eco-Schools programme; using stories to show what can be done to tackle the issue of litter is a fantastic way to get the message across.”

Helping Hand Environmental will provide further valuable resources, from litter pickers to information booklets, to support schools in setting up their own litter clubs. Lindsay Richmond, Communities Partnerships Manager for Helping Hand Environmental, also commented: “Helping Hand are super proud to be involved in such a worthwhile project to engage young minds in a fun and interactive way, learning new literacy and environmental skills both in the classroom and at their local Costa store. We are delighted again to be working with Costa –  a business totally committed to making our world a better place”.

New Litterpickers online for Marine Conservation Society



The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) hopes that a strengthened working partnership with Helping Hand Environmental, the UK’s #1 Litter Clearance Hands Tools Company, will be a success as the environmental charity announces an exciting development to their relationship – an online webshop selling MCS litterpickers!

The Helping Hand Company, based in Ledbury, Herefordshire has become a Corporate Silver Level Supporter and the ‘Equipment Partner of Choice’ to MCS extending their support for the charity’s work.

The new working partnership for 2018 sees litter pickers available in both adult and children’s sizes which will be used by volunteers taking part in beach clean-up campaigns such as The Great British Beach Clean.

Volunteers can also buy the new litter pickers as part of the MCS Online Shop in association with Helping Hand Environmental. The scheme enables volunteers, community groups, businesses and schools to purchase discounted equipment, as well as raising funds for MCS as percentage of every order is donation back to the charity.

Katherine Sharp, Partnership Manager, at Marine Conservation Society said: “Over the last eight years, we have had a brilliant working relationship with The Helping Hand Company. They have supported us with donations from the sale of its litter clearance hand tools as well as practical support and help out on clean-up events”.

Lindsay Richmond, Communities Manager at The Helping Hand Company added: We are delighted to announce another partnership year with Marine Conservation Society, a joining together of two organisations who share principle values in protecting our environment for the future through people.

The community support program is so much more than just giving money. For 2018 we have a full packed calendar, getting our hands dirty, being actively involved with beach clean initiatives across the UK – volunteering, fundraising and donating to the charity. We are committed to helping Marine Conservation Society – together we will make a difference”.


Notes to Editors

  1. For more information about Helping Hand Environmental call 01531 635678 or visit or follow them on Twitter @Litterpickers
  2. Please note MCS staff members, business or groups who wish to order directly with Helping Hand just need to quote MCSGROUP when placing their order directly.
  3. Online shop available at
  4. Picture L-R Lindsay Richmond Communities Manager, HH Environmental, Katharine Sharp, Business Partnership Manager Katharine Sharp, Corporate Partnership Manager, MCS, Chris Hall, Digital & Marketing Manager, MCS and Stacey Lovering, Area Sales Manager Midlands & Wales, Helping Hand Environmental.


The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK charity dedicated to protecting our seas, shores and wildlife. MCS campaigns for clean seas and beaches, sustainable fisheries, and protection of marine life. Through education, community involvement and collaboration, MCS raises awareness of the many threats that face our seas and promotes individual, industry and government action to protect the marine environment. MCS provides information and guidance on many aspects of marine conservation and produces the annual Good Beach Guide and the Good Fish Guide as well as involving thousands of volunteers in projects and surveys such as MCS Beachwatch.




Discounted Equipment Available To Support Greggs Foundation Grant Scheme

We are supper proud to work with Greggs & The Greggs Foundation Grant Scheme

Helping Hand Environmental will help support groups, schools and volunteers who are applying for environmental grants with The Greggs Foundation.

As a working partner to Greggs and environmental partners to Keep Britain Tidy, Keep Scotland Beautiful, Keep Wales Tidy and Surfers Against Sewage with every successful grant application who purchase Helping Hand equipment we will donate back in kind to these charities to help them continue the fantastic work they do!

What’s more you can use the GREGGS17 code to receive 30% off online in our online shop BUT remember to quote the code (for a limited time only)

Did You Know?

Helping Hand Environmental run special offers throughout the year and ALWAYS have discounted equipment available for volunteer litter pickers, groups, schools and environmental charities with limited budgets (upto 50% off our RRP).

We also have stock clearance items and Community litterpickers available to support your grant process for all ages and  bespoke/personalised equipment to support your grant application process.

What’s more Helping Hand Environmental have a Greggs Foundation dedicated Area Sales Manager Alistair Burnage and Regional Sales Advisor Chrissie Jeffery who will support you with your grant application and equipment quotation  – please call them on 01531 635678 or email for further information.

New Partnership with Surfers Against Sewage Announced

We are super proud to announced our exciting new partnership with Surfers Against Sewage for 2017-2018 by becoming a member of The 250 Club.

Helping Hand Environmental is a British manufacturer of litter clearance tools and systems who work with a variety of partners from marine groups, schools, local government to housing associations, contractors, charities, organisations and schools. We supply everything from litter pickers suitable for the daily rigours of litter clearance, litter collection systems, to environmental campaign kits for all ages.

As a business we are super excited about our new partnership with Surfers Against Sewage and cannot wait to get our hands dirty taking part in a variety of projects with this innovative bunch! What’s more we are offering all SAS supporters official discounts off our range of products when you quote SASGROUP call 01531 635678 or via

Surfers Against Sewage The 250 Club is a business membership scheme of powerful network of leaders, driving forward a movement for change to protect the UK’s unique coastal environment.

The 250 Club is a good way of getting small businesses involved in supporting SAS.

Find out more about Surfers Against Sewage


Environmental Funding Pots Available for Community Campaigns

Catch up on the latest grants and funding available to support your community clean ups campaigns in 2017.

Northern Ireland – The Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme deadline has been extended until 28th June. Live Here Love Here are providing grants from £500 to £5,000 and are open to any groups undertaking environmental community based projects across NI.

Organising a litterpicking project? Contact Helping Hand and quote KNIBGROUP to gain access to our range of discounted equipment as friend of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful

Scotland – CSV Action Earth empowers people in Scotland to make a positive difference to the quality of their lives. Grants of £250-£500 are available annually to run environmental activities which protect and enhance their local environment. Visit

England – Awards for All gives groups in England small Lottery grants of between £300 and £10,000. They will fund a wide range of community projects aimed at developing skills, improving health, revitalising the local environment and enabling people to become more active citizens. Visit

The Western Riverside Environmental Fund (WREF) is offering grants of £5,000 – £20,000 for projects that work with local communities to promote environmental improvements in the London Boroughs of: Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth & Wandsworth. The closing date is Monday 17 July 2017.

For more information and an application pack visit:


WREN is a not-for-profit business that helps benefit the lives of people who live close to landfill sites by awarding grants for community, environmental conservation and heritage projects of between £2,000 and £10,000. Visit

The Greggs Foundation have environmental grants available upto £2,000 for groups who are undertaking litterpicking and gardening activities. Visit deadline has been extended until 24th June.

Costa Coffee as developed a Community Hub which schools and groups can register for support from their local store – this can include volunteers hours, litterpicking kits or fundraising opportunities. Find out more

Please let our business know if we can help you. As well as being the #1 Litter Clearance Hand Tools Supplier, we have also produced a Volunteer Litter Guide to support planning and organising your clean up events for groups and schools.

Contact our Green Team at or on 01531 635678 for more information about our products, kits, partnerships and campaign guides.

Hero of the Month Award Announced for Clean Up Scotland


Former Scottish Government Minister, Jim Mather, was presented with the prestigious Clean Up Scotland “Hero of the Month Award” award in recognition of his tireless efforts to clean up roadside litter.

The current Homes for Scotland chairman has, for a number of years, witnessed the detrimental impact that roadside litter can have on Scotland’s precious scenery. This has led him to regularly collect rubbish from local beauty spot Drynie Hill on the A861 – improving what he considers one of Scotland’s most stunning landscapes.

On receiving the award, he commented: “As a keen cyclist I see the litter accumulating at the side of the road up close and personal. I collect rubbish from some of the most stunning and precious landscapes in the West Highlands – particularly Drynie Hill, above Acharacle on the A861. That road perennially wins hearts and return visits – however in recent years those visits can be soured and spoiled by litter and other detritus.

“I welcome all the endeavours of Keep Scotland Beautiful and others, and hope that we can get the issue of roadside litter much further up the public policy agenda, triggering much more effective interventions.”

The Clean Up Scotland Hero award is supported by Helping Hand Environmental which provides each Hero with a Clean Up kit – including a new Scottish litter picker and handy hoop.

He was also commended by Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, who said: “I would like to congratulate Jim for setting a fantastic example and demonstrating how an individual’s commitment to litter picking can go a long way. His efforts have helped to deliver outstanding results and have helped to protect and restore our precious landscape.

“I welcome his call for further intervention in order to change behaviour towards littering. National and local politicians need to seriously consider whether Scotland can continue to neglect such an important issue and Scotland would benefit from strong leadership to ensure that behaviour is changed nationwide.”



Helping Hand & Aston Villa Football Club Join Forces for Great British Spring Clean


The Aston Villa Foundation linked up with Helping Hand Environmental, Birmingham City County for a community action event as part of Keep Britain Tidy’s ‘GB Spring Clean’ initiative.

Young people and adults came together from Birmingham City Council Ladywood Neighbourhood office Housing and Street Scene teams, Helping Hand Environmental, Sanctuary Supported Living, Aston Parish Church Boys Brigade and Beacon Youth Club, to collect litter in the area around Villa Park, following the victory against Sheffield Wednesday the previous day.

The GB Spring Clean initiative started in 2015 with the aim of bringing together people to clean up the litter in villages, towns and cities across the country.

With local events for this year’s GB Spring Clean aiming to get 500,000 people involved, the Aston Villa Foundation and Birmingham City Council were keen to promote social responsibility and a sense of pride among young people living around Villa Park.

Guy Rippon, Head of Foundation said “This was a fantastic event, which brought young people and adults together from several organisations – all from a variety of different backgrounds.

“All of them had one thing in common, in that they wanted to be proactive in making the local area cleaner.

“It was a really good example of how a number of organisations can work together and have an impact, purely through a willingness to just get on and make things happen.

“The Aston Villa Foundation want to make community action programmes regular calendar events throughout the year, all with a view to having a positive impact on the community in and around Villa Park.”

In total the volunteers collected 43 sacks of rubbish in just 90 minutes, leaving the streets around the stadium noticeably cleaner.

Helping Hand Environmental Product Manager, Rachael Cordell supported the event along with her daughter Millie who became the campaign mascot!

Anti-Litter Poster Competition Earns School £600 Worth of Prizes


Caring and creative, Sean Hughes of Bankhead Primary School, has won £600 worth of prizes in an anti-litter poster competition.

Sean of P7/6 bagged the prize for his school after designing the winning entry in the competition run by city’s Environmental Task Force. He will now see his poster emblazoned on a banner to be erected at the Knightswood school urging people to take pride in their community and to bin their rubbish.

The Caldwell Street school has also won two planters made from recycled wood by Community Safety Glasgow as well as a fantastic Handicart and litter picking kit donated by Helping Hand Environmental.

Four other schools from the Drumchapel and Garscadden areas which took part in the competition have also won 15 litter pickers and kit bags costing around £150 each. They are Knightswood Secondary School, Yoker Primary, St Clare’s Primary and Corpus Christi Primary.

Almost 300 entries were received from schools in the Drumchapel and Garscadden areas. The contest was funded by the local area partnership via the Integrated Grants Fund.

Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of the Environmental Task Force, congratulated the pupils on their fantastic posters.

He said: “All the posters were brilliant and I’d like to thanks the schools for taking part. Special congratulations to Sean for creating the winning design and taking the top prize. I know about all the hard work that schools do around sustainability and the environment and it is great to see the city’s young people spreading the message that it is never OK to drop litter. Well done to everyone who took part and for supporting the work of the Environmental Task Force.”

Glasgow’s Environmental Task Force was launched last June and in its first six months, staff removed almost 3000 tons of rubbish which had been dropped in the city and almost 12 acres of graffiti. The Task Force has also enhanced 500 sites and removed 14,000 fly-tipping incidents. During the same period, the city’s pupils also carried out 500 litter picks in and around their schools.

Alistair Burnage of Helping Hand Environmental said: “As a business who pride ourselves in supporting community engagement initiatives across Scotland. We are extremely honoured to be involved in this competition which recognises and inspires young people to keep their local environment clean; highlighting the instrumental work of the Environmental Task Force.”