Barley shortlisted for two edie Awards

Hot on the heels of our Better Society Awards win last week, we are thrilled to be shortlisted for two edie Sustainability Leaders Awards in the Consumer Engagement/Marketing Campaign of the Year category.

The first Awards of the 2021 season, edie Awards entrants were asked to demonstrate how they adapted their work in light of restrictions imposed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The two campaigns shortlisted are:

Hubbub –  Community Fridge Network

Food waste is a huge issue in the UK, with £13bn of edible food thrown away in homes annually and a further £3bn wasted by the hospitality and food service sector. Barley supported the launch of Hubbub’s 100th community fridge at Dumfries House, opened by HRH Prince Charles. Unable to invite a full press pack to the event due to restrictions, we got around this by targeting and securing a high visibility feature article in The Sunday Telegraph and securing PA to film the event and syndicate the footage.

The campaign grabbed the attention of local food retailers and food service businesses to donate surplus food and raise the fridge’s visibility among vulnerable community members. We achieved 190 coverage items, and the network is now redistributing an average of 975 tonnes of food surplus per year in the UK, equal to approximately 1.9 million meals.

North London Waste Authority (NLWA) & OLGA –  Swish and Style

In the UK, more than 206.456 tonnes of textile waste is produced each year, and only 25% of it is reused or recycled. NLWA’s Swish and Style campaign, supported by OLGA and Barley, aimed to raise awareness of the environmental impact of fast fashion and encourage north Londoners to swap, restyle, shop second-hand, or otherwise reuse/recycle their clothing.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic meant that the final two events were cancelled. However, while our overall target for Swish and Style clothes swap events was to divert 1.2 tonnes of textiles from waste, across 14 events, we more than doubled this, diverting 2.5 tonnes of textile waste across 12 events. We achieved 36 coverage items with OTS/H of just under 59m, exceeding all media targets.

NLWA has also since partnered with eco-fashion campaign #LoveNotLandfill, and clothes swap app, Nuw to launch Stop & Swap; a series of nine online clothes swaps and Instagram Live talks designed to divert further tonnage of waste from landfill or incineration.

The full shortlist for the edie Sustainability Leaders Awards 2021 can be found here:–/

We’re excited to hear the results at the virtual awards ceremony on 3rd February 2021!

Disclosure of hidden referral fees should be made mandatory

Customers must be told about third party referral fees when buying or selling a home. This is one of a number of changes proposed by the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team to improve transparency in property sales and ensure consumers feel confident in the services they receive.

The proposed changes follow a review into the practice of referral fees and their impact on buyers and sellers in the UK property market carried out by National Trading Standards at the request of the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). Under the changes estate agents who continue to flout the legal requirements concerning referral fees could be banned from the industry.

Referrals are commonplace in the estate agency industry. In a recent survey of TPO (The Property Ombudsman) members, almost 60% of members had referred customers to external companies*. More than 80% of those members admitted receiving a fee for the referral*.

The review by National Trading Standards noted that the practice of referring customers to a preferred service provider in exchange for a fee is regularly concealed. Many customers remain unaware of the existence of referral fees when buying or selling a home. In some situations, customers may be pressurised to use a referred provider despite the fact it does not meet the needs of the customer or provide best value. As part of the proposed changes around referral fee disclosure, customers should be advised to shop around to find a third-party provider who offers the best value and service.

The recommendations include:

· Proposals for government to make transparency of referral fees mandatory and require a warning to be given to customers that they should consider shopping around
· A public awareness programme to warn consumers about hidden referral fees
· Further industry guidance, and work with the professional bodies and redress schemes to encourage compliance in the property sector.

James Munro, Senior Manager, National Trading Standards Estate & Letting Agency Team, said:

“We recognise that referral fees have a place in business if used ethically and transparently and with no pressure to use the referred service. It is important that customers are fully aware of the basis and value of a referral or recommendation so they are able to take an informed transactional decision. Mandatory disclosure of referral fees would ensure there is full transparency around this practice, helping to build consumer confidence in the estate agency industry and demonstrating the duty of care agents should have to both parties in a property sale.”

Minister for Housing Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said:

“This government is committed to making it easier, cheaper and clearer for people to own their own home, including by making the buying and selling process more transparent.

“It is unacceptable that unscrupulous practices are still taking place where consumers are not being made aware of referral fees when buying or selling a property.”

“I welcome the National Trading Standards’ work to raise consumer awareness of referral fees and will carefully consider the recommendations of their report. I have asked National Trading Standards to continue to monitor the situation to help inform if further steps need to be taken.”

To deliver the recommendations and to support estate agents to disclose referral fees, National Trading Standards is developing further industry guidance and will work with professional bodies and redress schemes to encourage compliance in the property sector. The public awareness campaign will highlight the issues and inform consumers, who will also be encouraged to report experiences of non-disclosure to their local Trading Standards Service:

In England & Wales via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline by calling 0808 223 1133 or online via

In Scotland via Advice Scotland on 0808 800 9060 or online at

In Northern Ireland via Consumerline on 0300 123 6262 or online at

A full copy of the report and recommendations can be found on The National Trading Standards website here.

#LoveYourForest campaign branches out to on-the-go recycling

Brightly coloured on-the-go recycling bins for cans and plastic bottles have been installed in local towns of the Forest of Dean today, as part of the #LoveYourForest initiative to tackle rubbish in the area.

Launched by environmental charity Hubbub, the new eye-catching bins have been installed in the town centres of Cinderford, Coleford, Lydney and Newent, and mark the next phase of the campaign, which is broadening activity beyond reducing litter, to increasing recycling as well.

#LoveYourForest is run in collaboration with local employer Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I, Forest of Dean District Council, Forestry England, Foresters’ Forest, and Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Tourism; and the new bins have been unveiled today by local MP Rt Hon Mark Harper.

Each year 250  tonnes  of rubbish is removed from the Forest of Dean, costing local taxpayers £450,000 per year to clean up.​ In 2016, Hubbub and local partners launched the #LoveYourForest  campaign to tackle the issue, trialling a number of interventions which in four years has seen more than 800 bags of litter collected in the area.

New research conducted amongst over 3,000 UK residents* reveals three quarters (75%) of people feel angry that people who throw litter have such disregard for their local environment. 48% said they had noticed an increase in littering/fly tipping since lockdown measures eased on 1st June.

Local artist Dorota Grabkowska with her creationTo mark the launch of the new bins, an installation by local artist Dorota Grabkowska highlighting how long rubbish takes to biodegrade, will be installed at Beechenhurst. Dorota designed the sculpture as part of a competition launched in February and has been busy bringing her winning design to life over lockdown. The sculpture will be touring the area over the next 6 months.

Join the campaign by following #LoveYourForest or find out more at

Rhiannon Ashley,  Project Co-ordinator at Hubbub, said: “While at-home recycling has improved over lockdown, litter levels have been rising across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, and our research suggests that two thirds (66%) of people agree the state of their local environment matters to them more now than ever before as they’re now spending much more time closer to home.

“This demonstrates more than ever the need to move towards a circular economy, so we’re delighted to expand the #LoveYourForest initiative by offering local towns around the Forest of Dean new bins to increase recycling whilst out and about, keeping litter out of the forest and in the loop.”

Michelle Norman, Director of Sustainability at Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I, said: “This next phase of Love Your Forest combines our two great passions; recycling and the Forest of Dean, where we’ve been making drinks for almost a century.

“These recycling bins, along with the art installation are an important reminder that plastic bottles needn’t end up as litter and that together we really can make a difference to our environment and bottle-to-bottle recycling. We’re proud to support Love Your Forest and hope that people embrace the new bins so that this next time next year we’ll be reporting on increased recycling rates in the Forest of Dean.”

MP for the Forest of Dean, Rt Hon Mark Harper said: “It was a pleasure to preside over the “grand unveiling” of the new eye-catching recycling bins in the Forest of Dean. Litter is a blight on our communities and roadsides and spoils our enjoyment of our beautiful forest and countryside. It is also very expensive, costing local councils hundreds of millions of pounds a year to clear up.

I am proud of the involvement of Suntory Beverage & Food in the #LoveYourForest campaign. As one of the joint collaborators within the campaign, this fantastic local employer is putting in the effort to play its part in reducing the levels of litter here in the Forest of Dean.

I would strongly encourage people to make use of these new recycling bins as well as taking their litter home and disposing of it in the correct manner.”

Councillor Sid Phelps, Cabinet Member for the Environment at the Forest of Dean District Council said: “The Forest of Dean District Council is delighted to support Love Your Forest in this exciting next-step of the campaign. Our contractor’s street cleansing teams are out every morning to tidy up the town centres, which includes emptying the general waste litter bins. It’s tremendous that the some of the litter which would have normally made its way into these bins can now go on to be recycled. We want everyone to use the on-the-go recycling bins correctly which is why the new bins can be found next to a normal litter bin so any rubbish which isn’t either a metal drinks can or a plastic bottle can be disposed of properly too.”

Leoni Dawson, Community Ranger for Forestry England said: “Forests during lockdown and since restrictions have lifted provide so much for people’s health and wellbeing. We have seen and dealt with a lot of litter over this period and we are looking forward to the awareness the new phase of the campaign will raise.”

Sue Middleton,  Programme  Manager at Foresters’ Forest said:  “This new phase of the Love Your Forest campaign encourages everyone to really think about how we can recycle plastics and cans, helping keep litter out of our Forest.”

Network Rail introduces coffee cup recycling: Passengers encouraged to Sip, Save and Recycle to help make stations greener

Coffee loving commuters are being encouraged to Sip, Save and Recycle their cups in Britain’s biggest and busiest stations, as Network Rail rolls out the first of their new coffee cup recycling bins at King’s Cross, Leeds, London Bridge, Waterloo, Liverpool Street, Charing Cross and Cannon Street.

As passenger numbers slowly increase and with 60% of station retailers now open, those travelling by train or visiting the stations can make use of the bright orange bins to recycle any paper coffee cups purchased during their journey.

Recycled cups are turned into upcycled reusable cups and other products including tissue and packaging, reducing waste and encouraging a circular economy.

Partnering with environmental charity Hubbub and working closely with waste provider, Interserve, Network Rail will be installing specially designed bins at all managed stations – including Birmingham New Street, Bristol Temple Meads, Edinburgh Waverley, Manchester Piccadilly and 11 London stations – by the end of October.

The rollout comes as a new YouGov study commissioned by Network Rail reveals that consumers want to recycle cups but often do not know how:

  • 58 per cent use either a waste bin or general recycling bin to recycle cups despite these systems being unable to manage paper cups; almost a quarter (23 per cent) of those who use a general recycling bin did not realise that coffee or paper cups should be recycled in specific bins.
  • Only 3 in 10 adults (30 per cent) who purchase a cup of coffee while travelling reported that they use a bin specifically designed for recycling coffee cups once they have finished with it.
  • Of those who don’t tend to recycle paper cups, just over half (52 per cent) say it’s because there isn’t anywhere available for them to do so throughout their journey, while 21 per cent feel that public recycling facilities are inadequate.

The initiative follows Network Rail’s launch of their new sustainability strategy, which includes ambitions to make stations greener.

Jo Lewington, Chief Environment and Sustainability Officer at Network Rail, said: “We know that more of our passengers want to do their bit for the environment and recycling is an easy way for them to get involved. So, as we start to welcome passengers back in ever increasing numbers, we’re working harder than ever to ensure our stations are not only cleaner, but also greener.

“By installing accessible, easy-to-use cup recycling bins across our managed station network this year, we’re helping our passengers to reduce their waste with a simple message – “Sip, Save and Recycle”. We believe the initiative will go a long way to supporting the circular economy and making our stations more sustainable.”

Gavin Ellis, Director and Co-Founder of Hubbub, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Network Rail on the introduction of these new cup recycling points. Cups can be easily recycled but, because they have a plastic lining that stops hot drinks from leaking, they need to be collected separately from other recycling. There is now plenty of capacity to recycle cups in the UK; what is needed is more infrastructure to collect the cups in high footfall places, so train stations are the ideal location. Our support for this initiative was made possible with funding from the Starbucks 5p cup charge, which Hubbub uses to make it easier and simpler for the public to recycle the cups they use, as well as promoting the use of reusable cups.”

It’s time to put “recycling’s most wanted” where they belong

A playful new campaign will help West London residents recycle more and better as Kensington and Chelsea Council teams up with Kensington-based innocent drinks and environmental charity Hubbub this Recycle Week (21-27th September 2020).

As people spend more time at home, we’re generating more waste than ever before, including an average of 128 pieces of plastic per household per week. This creates a particular problem in densely populated boroughs, such as Kensington and Chelsea. Over the last 3 years, K&C has achieved an overall increase in its recycling rate of just under 3% (2.9%). Now standing at 28.6%, this is ahead of most other boroughs with similar housing composition, but there is still room to do even better.

Polling shows that 1 in 3 Londoners find recycling information difficult to understand, with less than half (45%) saying they’re confident about what can be recycled and more than half (51%) agreeing that clearer information would encourage them to recycle more.

From this week, residents of the borough will see messages on posters, recycling bags and leaflets, digital displays and recycling trucks asking them to help catch “recycling’s most wanted”. These include items such as drinks cans, yogurt pots and bathroom plastics that belong in the recycling, but sometimes manage to escape.

Recycling can easily be spoiled by food and drink, meaning that even if items are put in the right bin, they are too dirty to be recycled. Residents are being urged to “wash their bits” to reduce pressure on the collection crew who often have to make decisions on whether items are fit for recycling.

Vaughan MacIntosh, Chargehand/Loader for the Council’s waste collector SUEZ, said:

“It’s great that the new campaign will help people know what they can put in their recycling and what should go in the rubbish. We work hard to recycle as much as possible, from pulling-up and separating recycling and waste bags at the kerbside, to spotting and removing items that can’t be recycled during collection and loading. We remove as many items as we can, when it’s safe and practical to do so, but it’s challenging. Sometimes the contamination is hidden, or it is wet and dirty, and spoils the rest of the clean recycling. It would be a great help if people separate their recycling at home correctly.”

Cllr Cem Kemahli, Lead Member for Environment at Kensington and Chelsea Council said:

“I hope residents connect with this fun campaign and it makes recycling at home simpler. Our waste collectors and sorters have made heroic efforts during the pandemic to provide an essential service that we couldn’t manage without. We can all make their jobs easier by recycling the most wanted items.
“Getting recycling right contributes to our ambition for a cleaner and greener Kensington and Chelsea with less waste, better air quality and a carbon neutral borough by 2040.”

Louise Stevens, Head of Circular Economy at innocent drinks, said:

“We’re thrilled to be a part of this campaign, and we feel this could be a breakthrough when it comes to recycling rates. We got a few of our talented writers and designers on the case and we’re looking forward to supporting our neighbours in their recycling efforts.”

Gavin Ellis, Co-Founder and Director of Hubbub said:

“Lockdown completely transformed the way we live and work, including our recycling habits and we know from our research that 43% 5 of people are more concerned about plastic pollution than before Covid-19. At a hugely challenging time for local authorities, supporting households to recycle better is more important than ever before. We know that many people want to recycle correctly but that they’re confused about what to do with their waste and we hope this campaign will make it easier for the people of Kensington and Chelsea to do the right thing.”

To find out more about the campaign and recycling guidance visit

Cross-party MPs call for Government intervention to fix fast fashion

Developing sustainable fabrics, boosting fabric recycling and bringing manufacturing jobs back to the UK are some of the key recommendations put forward to the Government today in a new report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion, supported by environmental charity Hubbub. The report sets out how the sector could follow a more sustainable route and the role that government and consumers might play. 

Covid-19 has significantly hit the fashion industry. Supply chains have broken, sales have dropped, unsold stock has built, retail outlets have closed and companies have gone out of business.  Consumer habits have shifted and so have attitudes – the public wants to see change. 

Before the virus struck, the environmental and social impact of the industry was increasingly under public scrutiny. Fast fashion resulted in £140 million worth of clothing being sent to landfill every year in the UK. Whilst charity shop donation rates are high, 300,000 tonnes of clothing still ends up in household bins every year with around 20% of this going to landfill and 80% incinerated (EAC, ‘Fixing Fashion’). The industry’s carbon dioxide emissions were expected to rise to nearly 2.8 billion tonnes by 2030 

The 2019 House of Commons Environment Audit Select Committee report ‘Fixing Fashion: clothing consumption and sustainability’, found that textile production accounted for 20-35% of microplastics in the oceans as well as toxicity in the land and particles in the air. The government rejected certain recommendations and felt that the rest were covered, to some degree, in the 2018 Resource and Waste Strategy published 2 months prior to the Fixing Fashion report. 

 New research released today by Hubbub shows 65% of UK residents agree that the Government should urgently do more to reduce the impact of the fashion industry on the environment.  

The APPG report calls for the following actions by Government:  

·       Investing in research and development to create more sustainable fabrics that have a lower environmental and social impact – backed by 66% of the public. 

·       Boosting investment in UK fabric recycling facilities to create a more circular economy – backed by 73% of the public. 

·       Supporting new start-up businesses operating more green business models – backed by 74% of the public. 

·       Investing in skills to bring more clothes manufacturing jobs back to the UK – backed by 72% of the public  

·       Supporting industry to create clearer information and labelling about the sustainability of clothes helping to educate consumers about their everyday choices and force companies to change their approach – backed by 64% of the public. 


Catherine West MP, chair of the APPG,  said:

“Coronavirus has exposed deep inequalities and unsustainability in the garment industry. Creating a sustainable and ethical future for the fashion industry is an important but complex challenge for government, industry and the public and what is clear is that there is an appetite for this on all sides. We must seize this moment and put these recommendations into action by pushing the government to be a global leader, helping to build a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry, both within the UK and globally”. 

The APPG report includes further recommendations for actions by the fashion industry and the survey found that consumers want to see change from industry. 65% agreed they’d be happy for fashion to ‘slow down”, ie less production of mass-produced cheap clothing in favour of good quality clothing that will last, and a third (33%) of 16-24 year olds feel constant pressure to buy new clothes. Three quarters (75%) of respondents agree that clothing companies have a responsibility to look after the people who make their products. 

The report also highlights that citizens have a crucial role in holding government and businesses to account in the post COVID-19 rebuild. 52% of those polled said they would be willing to spend a little more on clothes if they were guaranteed to be made ethically in the UK supporting British workers and 49% would be willing to spend a little more on clothes if they were guaranteed to be less impactful on the environment.  

Trewin Restorick, Founder and CEO of Hubbub, said:  

“Now is the time for government intervention to fix fast fashion and force companies to change their approach. We hope both the Government and the fashion industry will act with urgency on the recommendations of the APPG, which are backed by the UK public. As we’ve set out in our Greenprint, a more just and sustainable approach to how we dress, live, eat and travel is needed as we ‘build back better’, which builds greater long-term resilience. It’s important for all of us to play our part by making individual small changes and choosing where we spend our money.” 

Hubbub’s tips for individuals to slow their fashion consumption can be found at  

New COVID-19 tactics to rip off consumers

Access to future treatments, quick-result testing kits and government support packages are all areas that criminals are likely to exploit in the coming months, according to new intelligence published by National Trading Standards (NTS). The annual NTS Consumer Harm Report reveals how criminals are adapting to changing consumer and business needs as the coronavirus pandemic develops.

While the immediate issues exploited by criminals earlier this year involved the fraudulent sale of fake PPE, hand sanitiser and testing kits, emerging and future issues are likely to include:

  • Price gouging from profiteering traders as demand for specific products rises rapidly, such as Covid-19 treatments, instant-result Covid-19 tests or other high-demand products
  • Online fraud as more and more shoppers avoid the high street and buy online, including a rise in the use of mobile apps and social media for purchases where counterfeiters already operate
  • Legitimate government initiatives that are exploited by criminals, such as fraudsters purporting to represent government to offer business support packages, ‘copycat’ websites mimicking government schemes and the new Green Home Grant; similar initiatives have been targeted by criminals in the past
  • New websites and social media accounts offering ‘miracle cures’ including fake Covid-19 treatments, fast-turnaround testing kits or other forms of purported, non-validated products that make false claims about the virus
  • Virtual home viewings that misrepresent the property for sale or let. Property viewings by video have risen since lockdown and will rise further if future restrictions are imposed
  • Fake refund websites where companies falsely claim to offer ‘assistance’ with claiming refunds for cancelled holidays, processing insurance claims or other losses consumers may have suffered as a result of changed travel plans
  • Exploiting the vulnerable is not a new tactic – but we expect it to become more prominent as the virus encourages more people to shield, increasing loneliness and isolation.

Lord Toby Harris, Chair of National Trading Standards, said:

“During the pandemic we have seen criminals trade fake PPE and hand sanitisers, and prey on vulnerable people at home. As the coronavirus pandemic develops, so too will the type of fraud, and our intelligence shows that criminals are evolving their behaviour again to rip off consumers. There is naturally significant interest in the development of a COVID-19 health product and I urge consumers to be mindful that con artists and tricksters will try to exploit the situation for their own criminal ends.

“The Trading Standards community will work with the resources available to tackle the fake treatment websites and scams as they emerge, and I call on consumers to be extra vigilant – not only for yourselves but for friends, families, neighbours and others in our communities. Report suspected criminal behaviour to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.”

Lynda Scammell, Senior Enforcement Advisor at the MHRA, said:

“It is important to bear in mind that no medicine is licensed specifically for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.

“Our advice is to not buy by any products claiming to treat or prevent COVID-19 – any claiming to do so are not authorised and have not undergone regulatory approvals required for sale on the UK market, consequently we cannot guarantee their safety or quality and they may pose a danger to your health and the health of others.”

“We continue to encourage the public, and healthcare professionals, to report any posts claiming to sell these types of products to us via our Yellow Card Scheme:

“Always make sure you buy your medicines from a registered pharmacy or website and your medical devices from reputable retailers.”

The annual Consumer Harm Report also provides an update on the work NTS has delivered. Since NTS was established in 2014, its teams have saved consumers and businesses more than £1 billion, representing £12.64 in consumer and business detriment saved for every £1 spent.

During 2019-2020 National Trading Standards Teams:

  • secured more than £350,000 in compensation for victims
  • took 5,256,377 dangerous and non-compliant goods, with a value of £173 million, out of the supply chain
  • secured 64 convictions, with prison sentences totalling 91 years and more than £400,000 in fines
  • added a further 200,000 ‘friends’ to the Friends Against Scams campaign
  • completed landmark prosecutions for two ticket touts who were sentenced to a total of six-and-a-half years in prison
  • and ensured that the criminals behind ‘copycat’ websites that mimicked official government websites were ordered to pay back more than £6 million under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Small Business Minister Paul Scully said:

“Scams and profiteering schemes are despicable at any time, but particularly so if they seek to exploit the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Scammers are master opportunists, and it is shocking to see the new ways in which they are targeting vulnerable people.

“I would urge consumers to take extra care at this time, and to contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service if they feel they might be looking at a scam.”

CTSI Chief Executive, Leon Livermore, said:

“I am appalled and shocked to see the lengths criminals went to defraud the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. UK consumer protection has however risen to the challenge, and I applaud the excellent work of National Trading Standards over the past year.

“Statistics, showing that £173 million worth of dangerous goods were removed from supply chains, highlights the vital role that consumer protection plays. I am proud that consumer protection authorities, and in particular National Trading Standards have risen to the occasion during a period of unprecedented crisis.

“Although the vast majority of British businesses have behaved admirably, sadly a few have attempted to use the situation to their advantage and engage in price gouging.

“CTSI is pleased to support and amplify the excellent work undertaken by NTS and encourage the public to join their excellent Friends Against Scams scheme.

“While we are all working against mounting pressures, consumer protection authorities will continue to work hard, protecting the public in the most difficult circumstances and I am confident that the coming year will bring further news of success.”

HRH The Prince of Wales opening the 100th Community Fridge

HRH The Prince of Wales opens community fridge at Dumfries House

HRH The Prince of Wales today opened the Community Fridge Network’s 100th fridge at Dumfries House to help bring together the local community of East Ayrshire to tackle food waste.

The Community Fridge Network, run by environmental charity Hubbub, supports community fridges across the UK to share good food from local businesses and individuals that would have otherwise gone to waste. Run by local volunteers, the fridges also provide a positive social space for local residents to learn more about food, sustainable eating, growing your own and eating on a budget.

Many of the fridges have provided a lifeline to communities during the Covid-19 pandemic, adapting their offering to support the most vulnerable and families hit particularly hard financially.

The Prince’s Foundation, whose headquarters is at Dumfries House, has set up the fridge to benefit local residents around the former mining communities of Auchinleck and Cumnock. Regular collections of surplus food from local retailers will be organised and food will also be donated from the estate’s Coach House Cafe, Kauffman Education Gardens and The Belling Hospitality Training Centre.

Thousands of school children visit Dumfries House estate every year to take part in hands-on food, farming and horticulture workshops run by The Prince’s Foundation which highlight the provenance of food and importance of sustainable practices. Those managing the community fridge plan to run similar sessions for local residents on how to grow your own fruit and veg, in addition to cooking workshops, and health and wellbeing sessions.

Food waste remains a huge issue in the UK, with £13 billion of edible food thrown away from our homes every year and a further £3 billion of food wasted by the hospitality and food service sector.

With the opening of the 100th community fridge, the network is redistributing an average of 975 tonnes of food surplus per year, the equivalent of approximately 1.9 million meals.

Julie McCluskie, manager of the Coach House Cafe at Dumfries House, will oversee the Dumfries House community fridge. She said: “Sustainability is at the heart of everything The Prince’s Foundation does so we are delighted to officially open the 100th community fridge in partnership with Hubbub. Supporting the local community has always been a huge part of the Dumfries House ethos and we hope that the opening of this fridge will not only be of benefit to local residents but that it will also strengthen our commitment to reducing food waste.”

The first community fridge was opened in 2016 in Derbyshire and the idea has been rolled out in communities across the UK. Unlike food banks, the fridges are available for anyone to use and have given residents an opportunity to try new foods, share recipes and even cook together.

Kanahaya Alam, Community Fridge Network Manager at Hubbub, said: “We’re thrilled that HRH The Prince of Wales has officially opened a Community Fridge on Dumfries House estate. We’ve seen these projects strengthen and enrich communities across the country in community centres, schools, universities and now a country estate. Community fridges are not only tackling food waste but are providing a crucial service at what is a really difficult time for many. We’d love to see more people volunteer for their local fridge, more retailers donate food and more businesses provide sponsorship.”

Neil Ritch, Scotland Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “It’s remarkable that thanks to National Lottery funding, the Community Fridge Network is providing almost 2 million meals a year from food that would have otherwise gone to waste, as well as bringing people together so they can learn more about making the most of the food we have. The pandemic has seen the Network supporting some of the most vulnerable people and families and National Lottery players can be proud that the money they have raised is funding this vital work in an exceptionally difficult time.”

The Community Fridge Network is supported by a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, and the fridge at Dumfries House is one of over 80 kindly donated by fridge manufacturer Liebherr. Retailers redistributing their surplus food across the network include Co-op, Costa, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Riverford Organic, Sainsbury’s, Spar, Tesco and Waitrose, alongside local food businesses around the country.

This week Hubbub launched a Greenprint for a Better Britain – a manifesto of policies seeking to ensure that the UK makes a sustainable recovery from COVID-19. This includes asking the Government to support ‘Community Food Hubs’ in areas of high food insecurity to improve access to healthy food.

More information on The Community Fridge Network, including a map of fridge locations and advice for those interested in setting up a community fridge can be found at

Genuine Solutions Logo

Genuine Solutions

Barley has been appointed by tech recovery and recycling experts Genuine Solutions, to develop a new communications and engagement strategy to support Genuine Solutions’s business aims as it merges three existing brands: GSUK, Genuine Solutions and Genuine Solutions Group, into one corporate entity.  

Genuine Solutions has developed its environmental focus since its inception 15 years ago, evolving from an award winning mobile and smart devices accessory distributor to a company that also provides recovery, recycling and reuse solutions for technology products, with the ambition of 100% reuse and zero products going to landfill.  

Following our appointment, Barley instigated a robust stakeholder research programme, designed to draw out perceptions of the different brands. These insights enabled us to design and facilitate a half day strategy and messaging workshop for 16 key members of the Genuine Solutions team, which we were able to run successfully despite lockdown restrictions, by using Zoom break out rooms. 

Barley has since developed a comprehensive integrated digital and media communications strategy which supports the five-year business plan, with the specific objectives of: 

  • Raising the profile of Genuine Solutions  
  • Enhancing the reputation of Genuine Solutions, demonstrating its services to stakeholders including customers, partners and consumers  
  • Raising awareness of the scale of tech waste and its impact on the environment, along with financial implications for both organisations and consumers  
  • Inspiring action from individuals and organisations to support the achievement of the company’s vision.  

The ultimate aim for our communications is to support Genuine Solutions’ primary brand articulation: helping us all waste less technology through recovery, relove and redistribution.  We look forward to launching the first wave of media and digital activity in the Autumn. 

Feed The Frontline

Man packing food bags for Feed The FrontlineFeed The Frontline is an initiative from new charity The Healthworkers’ Support Foundation which has been established in response to the COVID-19 crisis, delivering thousands of parcels of fresh produce to healthcare workers. Borough Market spearheaded the campaign to deliver thousands of bags of fresh fruit and vegetables to four London hospitals. Bradford St James Wholesale Market followed suit, working with Leeds Cares to deliver to hospitals in Leeds.

Barley led the media outreach programme and secured 44 pieces of coverage including BBC Radio London, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian.

Barley Communications – making a difference

Four years ago, in April 2016, we launched a new kind of agency. One that we hoped would make a difference on issues that matter.

Since then we’ve worked with awe-inspiring organisations that share this vision. Groups and leaders who strive for a better world, proactively reducing damage to our planet. Teams who support people in vulnerable situations and improve people’s health and wellbeing. Campaigners who demand social justice.

Our new showreel chronicles some of the work we’ve delivered for these inspiring organisations.

We would like to say a huge thank you to all our amazing clients from the past four years, who all deliver life-changing work that makes a difference.

Barnardo’s x @littlebigbell Virtual Homewares Pop Up

As lockdown increases Brits’ desire to zhuzh up homes, we need to talk about fast homewares.


On Average: 

  • Brits spend £7.9 billion on homewares annually
  • We’re buying at least 404 Million homeware items (an average of almost 8 items per year)
  • 14.5 Million Brits bin unwanted, unbroken homewares sending reusable homewares to landfill


Since Lockdown:

  • 25.6 Million Brits (48% of adults) changed the look of at least one room
  • Over a third (37%) agree the look of their home has become more important since lockdown
  • Nearly a third (32%), or 17.2 Million want to zhuzh up their home more than ever before
  • Nearly a quarter (24%) bought homewares during lockdown

1-8 August 2020, Barnardo’s Retail and interiors expert Geraldine Tan @littlebigbell open the Barnardo’s x @littlebigbell Virtual Homewares Pop Up. To showcase the treasures to be found at charity shops and raise much needed funds for Barnardo’s, whilst highlighting the problem of fast homewares.

Curated by the award winning @littlebigbell (donating her time and expertise for free) the online store will sell covetable homewares donated to Barnardo’s.   All items big and small will start at just 99p and be open to bidding for one week, after which items will be sent direct to the winning bidders.

Look out for on-trend pre-loved pieces from Le Creuset, Oliver Bonas and a gorgeous vintage jade green tea set.  Special thanks go to Bombay Duck LondonCatherine Rowe designsDoodle_Moo ,Eleanor BowmerGayle Mansfield DesignsHannah CarvelKitty McCallMoi_MiliNanas of Anarchy,Particular People ,Sugar Snap StudioThe Native State  and W.A Green who have all generously donated pieces.

Geraldine Tan @littlebigbell said: “I’m super excited about the collection of homewares we have put together with Barnardo’s; there are some gorgeous pieces. I get real joy from pre-loved shopping and it’s a charity and a cause I feel very strongly about”

Our homes have arguably never been so important. As charity shops re open Barnardo’s would like to encourage Brits to shop pre loved homewares as the sustainable, affordable option.

A nationally representative survey of over 2,000 UK adults commissioned by Barnardo’s in February 2020 before lockdown, found on average Brits spend a massive £7.9 Billion on homewares annually. Shockingly a further 27% bin unwanted, unbroken homewares which would mean 14.5 million items are ending up in landfill annually, if we assume they all only bin 1 item each per year. This needs to change.

A follow-up survey for Barnardo’s conducted since lockdown in June 2020, found over a third (37%) of Brits agree the look of their home has become more important to them since lockdown and nearly a third (32%) want to zhuzh up their home more than ever before.  In fact nearly a quarter (24%) bought homewares during lockdown to update rooms.

In the survey pre lockdown over a quarter (28%) of Brits claimed to completely change the look of a room at least once a year, and 23% completely change the look of a room at least once every 1-2 years. We asked the question again in June and a massive 48% (an estimated 25 Million) have changed the look of at least one room since lockdown began. That’s almost double the amount that would usually be expected over a longer period.

Other findings from the February survey include 20% of Brits (1 in 5) agreed that they judge a person by the look of their home and possibly with this in mind 20% of those who buy homeware do so to “zhush up a room before having people over.” And by far Brits’ favourite indulgence is cushions, with 38% of people having brought at least one cushion in the last year – that’s 20.6 million of us, and only 7% of these people bought cushions from a charity shop.

Javed Khan chief executive of Barnardo’s said: “Barnardo’s is grateful to Geraldine and all involved for their generous support. The coronavirus pandemic has hit vulnerable families the hardest, with many reaching crisis point. All funds raised will go to our work supporting vulnerable children across the UK, more important now than ever.”

Shop the Barnardo’s x @littlebigbell Pop Up from 9am 1 August to Midnight 8 August, Support the campaign by showing what you’ve found in your local Barnardo’s using the #MyBarnardosFind or #BarnardosHomewares on Social Media.