Social distancing at Borough Market

Borough Market stays open to feed local community; closes Borough Market kitchen and all restaurants

Borough Market, London’s world-renowned historic food market, is remaining open for business – selling essential supplies of fresh produce and store cupboard ingredients for those working and living in the local community. It has now completely closed all restaurants and its hot food provision area, The Borough Market Kitchen, to focus purely on produce provision. The Green Market area will also be closed, so that all traders are in the Three Crown Square area to avoid shoppers spending unnecessary amounts of time at the Market.

All stalls are being repositioned to allow at least 2 metres between them, and the ground will be marked out with 2 metre distancing for the public, along with clear signage on the importance of shoppers remaining apart.

Borough Market will be closely monitoring numbers, and if a stall gets too busy people will be asked to come back when less crowded. Customers are encouraged to pay with card, rather than cash, and reusable coffee cups and containers will no longer be accepted during this period.

In addition to usual extensive cleaning practices, particular attention will be taken to ensure all touch points are wiped thoroughly and regularly with disinfectant.

Kate Howell, Development Director, Borough Market said:

“Our message is clear – we have responded to the Covid-19 outbreak by changing our nature. Our priority is to keep the local community safe whilst providing much needed supplies for people and supporting our traders – who are all small, independent businesses. There is no lingering, no socialising, our restaurants are all closed and our hot food area, Borough Market Kitchen has also now closed. We are no longer a place to travel to and visit as we must all avoid unnecessary movement across London. But if you live near the Market or are still required to come to work in the vicinity, think of us as your alternative open air supermarket, well stocked with fresh produce and other essential foods.”

Borough Market remains open from Monday to Saturday, with the usual trading hours.
As part of its service to the wider community, Borough Market is also hosting a Community Facebook Group where those at home looking for culinary inspiration can access hundreds of free online recipes – many using store cupboard staples, and swap tips.

Live cooking demos and cook-alongs from a range of chefs are hosted on Borough Market’s Instagram Live:

23-Mar: Lisa Fearn – simple doughs to make with children
24-Mar: Jenny Chandler – Dhal recipes
25-Mar: TBC
26-Mar: Tim Maddams – cooking on a budget
27-Mar: Clare Finney – drinks

Borough Market’s delivery and collection service, Borough Market Online, offers an alternative way for customers to access Market produce. The option of a doorstep drop service allows it to be received without contact with couriers.

Borough Market Bike Delivery

Borough Market extends online delivery to inside M25 and launches series of “food community” measures

London’s iconic Borough Market is extending its online delivery service to all customers within the M25 amid the Covid-19 outbreak. The Market is also remaining open for shoppers, with new public health and hygiene measures in place in accordance with government guidelines.

Since its launch in November 2019, Borough Market Online has offered deliveries by zero-emission electric bike within a 2.5 mile radius. From 19 March, deliveries will be temporarily extended to any location inside the M25. Click and collect is also available from the market up until 9pm each day.

Electric bike couriers will still be used for deliveries within a reasonable distance of the market, but vans – hybrid where possible – will be used further afield. Strict hygiene practices mean that the food is securely packaged, and the option of a doorstep drop service allows it to be received without contact with couriers.

“In these extraordinary times, the delivery zone has been extended to within the M25,” said Kate Howell, development director at Borough Market. “The priority is for the market to be able to deliver wonderful food from our traders to Londoners who have to stay at home and live outside our normal delivery zone.”

Borough Market is also fulfilling its role of supporting the local community through a series of ‘Food Community’ measures – trader Bread Ahead is offering free yeast on request to those living in the local community who are keen to bake their own bread at home, and the Market will be selling flour alongside other dried goods to keep Londoners cooking at home. People across the UK (and the world) looking for culinary inspiration will be able to access hundreds of free online recipes – many using store cupboard staples, along with live cooking demos and cook-alongs from a range of chefs and Borough Market restaurants.

Borough Market’s partnership with the Plan Zheroes charity will continue, with surplus produce collected from the Market and delivered to community organisations that help feed some of the city’s most vulnerable people.

Darren Henaghan, managing director, Borough Market said:
“Our community is large and diverse, and our responsibilities to it go beyond the sale of food. We will use the online sphere to stay close to those who need comradeship or distraction—that’s why we’re using our resources, working with fantastic chefs, traders and producers to create a digital community which will support people stuck at home and give them a sense of connection through food.”

“We have taken steps to shift the nature of the market from a place of congregation and engagement to one in which contact is kept to a minimum. Of course Borough Market is first and foremost a produce Market – customers can think of it as an outdoor supermarket – so the produce traders selling meat, fish, fruit, veg and baked goods are still all operating.”

“We aim to remain a haven for food lovers while supporting our small, independent businesses. Borough Market has served this community for a thousand years, through thick and thin. It has survived wars. It has lived through food shortages and curfews. As recently as 2017, our community withstood the trauma of a terrorist attack and the subsequent weeks of closure. It did so by remaining close and supportive, by caring about people – and that’s how we’ll get through this crisis too.”

Communal seating has been removed from the Borough Market Kitchen and public events have been cancelled to minimise contact between customers and traders. Several of the market’s restaurants and hot food concessions have closed but produce stalls selling meat, fish, bread and vegetables will continue to operate to serve customers and the wholesale trade.

The Market’s online shopping platform is available for customers to order delicious produce from the majority of Borough Market traders. Once the order is placed the Borough Market Online team will gather the produce from the relevant traders and place them in a designated hub within the Market. From here, customers can either collect their order at the Market between 12pm and 9pm or it will be dispatched via state of the art zero-emission electric cargo bike, within a reasonable distance, or by van – hybrid where possible – to their address at a pre-booked time slot.
To order unique and delicious UK and international produce from a range of Borough Market’s traders, please visit

Hen do - #WhyWingIt Campaign Image

Choosing Manchester over Las Vegas for your stag do has the same impact on climate change as each person going vegan for 1.5 years

As the environmental impact of our flying habits comes increasingly under the spotlight, new research commissioned by environmental charity Hubbub reveals that by choosing Brighton over Barcelona, a group of 10 hen or stag do travellers from London could reduce their Carbon emissions by 98%. This is the equivalent of one person in the group going vegan for 2.2 years or stopping driving a car for 1.4 years, according to the comparison research compiled by Carbon Credit Capital, a carbon offset management firm located in New York City, which also compared carbon impacts of 6 other popular destinations and diet types.

Hen do - #WhyWingIt Campaign Image

The survey by Censuswide interviewed over 2,000 20-45 year-olds across the UK and found that 58% feel that hen and stag dos abroad are too long, expensive or involve too much travel. A third (33%) of people felt resentful towards the bride, groom or trip organiser about the amount of money they’ve had to spend on a hen or stag do.

Hubbub today launches the Why Wing It campaign to raise awareness of the environmental impact of flying. With January and February being peak times for holiday bookings, Hubbub is encouraging people to consider using alternative modes of travel and visit inspiring destinations closer to home instead. More Britons travel abroad than any other nationality and on average men went on four stag dos last year. Those flying overseas spent £421 on each trip, compared with £261 per person for those who chose to avoid the plane and stay in the UK. Over four trips, one regular stag-goer could save £640 over the course of a year by choosing UK destinations and not flying.

Stag do - #WhyWingIt Campaign

Over half (60%) of those surveyed preferred a UK-based hen or stag, due to it being cheaper and easier to get to and a more flexible option. For example, guests don’t have to stay for the whole thing. 73% agreed that there are lots of great places in the UK for hens and stag dos.

Jess Wiles, Creative Partner at Hubbub, said: “When we asked people about their ideal hen or stag do they told us it would involve a short journey, one or two nights away, a good choice of nightlife and access to adventure activities and spas. There is a fantastic range of locations and venues here in the UK that tick the boxes for what people want and they are generally easier and cheaper to get to.

Train in the countryside - #WhyWingIt Campaign

Our research shows that 43% of young people currently don’t consider the environmental impact of their holidays but we’re optimistic that this will change in 2020 as our flying habits become more of a focus. Instead of flying by default, we’re keen to inspire people to consider alternatives such as travelling by train which is often less hassle and can be a fun way to travel with friends.”

The study by Carbon Credit Capital compares the Carbon Dioxide emissions of travelling from London by train to 5 popular UK hen/stag do destinations with flying from London Heathrow to 5 popular overseas destinations. The results were then compared with other lifestyle habits such as reducing meat intake/going vegan and not using your car. The following swaps are based upon an individual person with a high meat diet:

• Swapping Las Vegas for Manchester is the equivalent of going vegan for 1.5 years

• Swapping Dubai for Edinburgh is the equivalent of giving up driving for 7 months

• Swapping Barcelona for Brighton is the equivalent of going vegan for 2.5 months

• Swapping Dublin for Cardiff is the equivalent of reducing meat intake from a high to low meat diet for 1.5 months

• Swapping Amsterdam for Newquay is the equivalent of giving up driving for 1.5 weeks

Hubbub have compiled some top tips for landing a dream UK hen or stag do, including some easy destination swaps and advice on how to travel over ground. They are also appealing to people who have recently been on a UK-based hen or stag do to share their best photos to help inspire others planning a trip to stay grounded, reduce their impact on the environment and make the most of what the UK has to offer. Visit to find out more.

Claire des Pallieres hands out posters to local businesses announcing the launch of LondonÕs first Low Plastic Zone (LPZ)

First ‘Low Plastic Zone’ launches in London as businesses respond to demand

In response to consumer demand for less pointless plastic, North London Waste Authority (NLWA) in partnership with the seven north London boroughs, is launching the first ever ‘Low Plastic Zone’, with over three quarters of businesses in the Cowcross Street area of Islington having successfully, and permanently, reduced the single-use plastic they give to their customers, with many pledging to go further than the Charter of Commitment. 

Claire des Pallieres hands out posters to local businesses announcing the launch of LondonÕs first Low Plastic Zone (LPZ)

Over the coming weeks, key shopping areas within Haringey, Camden, Barnet, Enfield, Hackney and Waltham Forest are also expected to reach Low Plastic Zone status.  

 The Low Plastic Zone initiative aims to encourage and support local businesses of all sizes to reduce the amount of singleuse plastic handed to customers who, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by NLWA, simply don’t want it anymore. 95% of respondents want local businesses to reduce their use of singleuse plastic, and 83% have taken steps to reduce their own use.  

 Shoppers are voting with their feet and choosing businesses that are taking action. 17% have stopped buying a product because it wasn’t available without plastic packaging, 15% have switched from one local business to another and 11% have travelled out of their way to use a lower-plastic firm. In fact, if two businesses were identical in every other way, 93% of respondents said they would shop at the one that had reduced single-use plastic.  

Lady placing NLWA "Low Plastic Zone" posters in her window 

Chair of North London Waste Authority, Cllr Clyde Loakes, said: “Our research shows that the majority of people are trying hard to reduce their use of single-use plastic but are frustrated at how difficult it is to avoid when shopping or eating and drinking on-the-go. Reducing the amount of waste we all create, and single-use plastics in particular, is essential for helping tackle the climate emergency. North London Waste Authority is committed to helping residents and businesses do this.  

“We know that businesses want to reduce their environmental impact, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s good for business. People are telling us that they are more likely to use companies who are taking action in this area so we are confident that this flagship initiative will be a win-win-win; for businesses, for consumers and of course, for the planet.”  

Yeohan kim holds a sign announcing the launch of London's first Low Plastic Zone (LPZ).

Speaking at today’s Low Plastic Zone launch at the Lazybones restaurant in Cowcross Street, Cllr Rowena Champion, Executive Member for Environment and Transport from Islington council, said: The Low Plastic Zone on Cowcross Street is an innovative, practical step towards cutting down on single-use plastics and shows one of the many ways we are working with local people and businesses to tackle the climate emergency. We have been encouraged and inspired by the response from the public and businesses alike so far; it is clear many people who live and work in the borough are willing to do their bit in helping reduce single-use plastics. We look forward to more businesses in the area and beyond signing up.” 

The growing public awareness of the harmful effect of plastic on the environment has left many feeling worried about the future (38%), frustrated (34%), sad (26%) or powerless (22%) when seeing the volume of singleuse plastic on display in shops and restaurants. Six per cent of respondents even reported experiencing physical symptoms of anxiety.   

Such is the strength of feeling that people are shunning plastic even if it’s to their own detriment; 15% have eaten a takeaway meal with fingers rather than accept plastic cutlery, 13% have gone thirsty because they didn’t want to buy a plastic water bottle and one in 10 have refused to buy their child or grandchild a toy, magazine or snack because of the plastic content. 

"Low Plastic Zone" Campaign NLWA

Fuelled by flagship TV documentaries and the ongoing public debate, some shoppers are now confronting businesses directly. Nine per cent of respondents have spoken to shopkeepers about the amount of packaging on display and eight per cent have commented on businesses’ social media pages. A plucky eight per cent have even unwrapped items at the till to make a point to shop staff.  

Top 5 single use plastic items people found it hardest to reduce or eliminate – and tips to help:  

  • Thin film packaging: Usually used to wrap fruit, veg and meat. Increasingly shops are removing these so buy loose when you can and bring your own reusable food wrap, such as beeswax wraps, or net bags to pop loose fruit and veg into. 
  • Punnets or trays: These are usually the base for fruit, veg or meat. Many supermarkets will now allow you to bring your own reusable containers – just make sure you weigh loose items before you put them in the box. If you can’t bring your own, try and avoid black or dark plastic trays – as often found in ready meals – these are usually not recyclable. 
  • Water bottles: Most people now own one of these – the trick is to remember to take it out with you. Try leaving it near your front door or handbag as a reminder. 
  • Carrier bags: As with water bottles, it’s a case of remembering to take them with you. Try leaving a set in your car boot or near the front door so they can’t be forgotten.  
  • Food on-the-go: Increasing numbers of cafes and takeaways are allowing customers to bring their own containers. You could also consider buying a set of bamboo or small metal cutlery for use on-the-go. And if you’re ordering from home, refuse the plastic knife and fork! 

 To find out more about the campaign or if you’re a business that would like to get involved visit 

No Homeless Veterans

Barley provided website and social media support for the No Homeless Veterans campaign. Utilising our many years of experience working in the housing and veterans sectors, this campaign was focused on reducing homelessness among former members of the Armed Forces as close to zero as possible. With that objective in mind, the campaign engaged with local authority housing teams to ensure they understand not just the statutory obligations, but best practice advice too, in order to ensure veterans get the advice and appropriate housing they need.

Guide Dogs

Guide Dog assisting with shopping in a supermarketWe are delighted to be Guide Dogs’ first retained agency focused on supporting people with sight loss to live the life they choose. We work alongside the in-house team developing stories and content to raise awareness, support fundraising appeals, encourage volunteering and promote campaigns. We bring to life the fantastic partnerships that exist between a guide dog owner and a guide dog. We work with media to utilise Guide Dogs’ training expertise for pet owners and we help tell the stories that matter to people with sight loss. 

Martin Clunes and his dogs join the Guide Dogs virtual tea party

Recently, celebrities including Martin Clunes, Gregg Wallace, Imelda Staunton, Bill Turnbull and Andy Murray joined forces with Guide Dogs for a Guinness World Record attempt at the world’s biggest virtual tea party. Read more about the Guide Dog’s virtual tea party here.

Major boost for London paper cup recycling to recycle 4 million more cups

An immersive art installation arrives on the riverwalk in London’s Bankside today made of 5,555 paper cups – the number used every minute in the UK. 222 of these are coloured black to represent the 4% of cups which are currently estimated to be recycled in the U.K. At 3 metres tall and illuminated at night, the structure is unmissable, and visitors can walk inside it and it’s also wheelchair accessible.

The installation heralds a major push to improve paper cup recycling in high footfall areas across the capital. Five new recycling programmes, financed by The Cup Fund, aim to recycle 4 million more paper cups a year. The schemes are launched as new research1 released today by the environmental charity,  Hubbub, reveals the public are still confused about paper cup recycling. Three out of four people wrongly believe that paper cups can be recycled in the same way as other paper and card. However, because cups have a plastic lining that stops hot drinks from leaking, they need to be collected separately from other paper goods.

The Cup Fund was established to meet this need and is the U.K.’s largest grant fund to bolster and scale paper cup recycling. The London programmes represent five of the 12 schemes across the country selected to receive grants of between £50,000 and £100,000 to develop long-term infrastructure. The Cup Fund is financed by Starbucks, from the 5p charge introduced on paper cups in 2018, to encourage customers to increase their use of reusable cups and avoid the charge. 

Each of the five new recycling programmes is tailored to suit the local area, with features including:

  • Brixton – Brixton BID are introducing the first cup recycling facilities in Lambeth across the area’s thriving independent coffee shop scene 
  • Camden – the Camden Climate Change Network and Veolia are bringing coffee cup recycling to offices and coffee shops, while street sweepers will collect paper cups separately 
  • Mayfair and Belgravia – Grosvenor Britain and Ireland are installing cup recycling points in office buildings and public spaces across their estate, as well launching a competition with local schools to create a design for a paper cup art installation 
  • Bankside and London Bridge –Better Bankside and Team London Bridge, the area’s Business Improvement Districts, with their recycling partner Paper Round, are introducing eye-catching new recycling points at iconic locations from Blackfriars Bridge to Tower Bridge, south of the River Thames. 
  • Universities – Bywaters will encourage cup recycling by students through a playful communications campaign across University of Westminster, Queen Mary University of London and London School of Economics (LSE) 

All cups collected by the funded projects will be recycled within the U.K. into new products including paper bags and greetings cards. These products will be manufactured locally to reduce travel and some of those products will go back into the locations where the cups were collected to create a closed loop. 

As well as financial funding, each project will receive ongoing guidance and advice from Hubbub to enable them to best spend the funds to deliver the greatest long-term impact. The charity has been at the forefront of coffee cup recycling campaigns for a number of years, bringing together large-scale collaborations of retailers, cup manufacturers, local authorities and other stakeholders to test and scale cup recycling in London, Leeds, Manchester and Swansea.

Gavin Ellis, Director and Co-Founder of Hubbub, said: “While reusable cups are the most environmentally friendly choice, billions of paper cups are still being used each year and most aren’t currently recycled. We know that people generally want to do the right thing with recycling and it was surprising to find that three in four people are still unaware that cups need to be collected separately from normal card and paper. By using the Hubbub and Starbucks Cup Fund to raise awareness and introduce eye-catching cup recycling points in high footfall locations, we hope we can encourage Londoners to dispose of their cups in the right bins and ensure that they are recycled.” 

Haley Drage Vice President, Public Affairs, Starbucks EMEA, said:“Addressing the issue of waste in and out of our stores is a global priority, and we are tackling this from a number of angles within the organisation—whether it’s reducing the amount of single-use materials we introduce to begin with, encouraging customers to adopt reusables or investing in an alternative cup solution that could transform the industry. Starbucks is proud to be working with Hubbub and The Cup Fund winners to launch five new recycling programmes across the capital, increasing the ease and availability of recycling for Londoners.”  

Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, said: “Tackling waste from disposable cups is a complex challenge and one the Mayor is taking action on. From City Hall, we have installed 3,500 water refilling stations and 61 water fountains across the capital, and it’s great to see the Cup Fund’s five diverse approaches to encouraging recycling in London.

“We know that there is a great willingness from Londoners to ditch plastic bottles and disposable drinks containers, so we welcome action from the commercial sector to facilitate this. Recycling plays an important part in cutting the environmental impact of disposable cups, but our ultimate goal must be to reduce the amount we use in the first place, by switching to reusables.”

The installation was created by acclaimed local art duo, Mule Studio. It will remain in place on the riverwalk in Bankside London, close to Tate Modern, until 31st January, and then moving on to other prime locations across central London, after which all the cups used to build it will be transformed into new usable products.

For more information on The Cup Fund, the winners and their progress visit

Pollution  Pavilion revealing invisible  air pollution  arrives in Covent Garden

A stunning, interactive ‘Pollution Pavilion’  has landed  in Covent Garden’s iconic Piazza to  spark a  national conversation about  air pollution. It’s the work of environmental charity Hubbub and Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, which are  urging  people to  help  make this pressing issue  political priority wherever  they live.

Research  released today by Hubbub finds  80%  of Britons are worried that the UK limits for air pollution don’t match WHO guidelines. The survey also found that  83% of people are worried about how air pollution could affect them or their families – this  rises  to 89% for parents with primary school-aged children and 92% for those with under-fives.

The unique installation,  designed  in collaboration with artists  Climate and Cities  and King’s College London, displays huge balloons that change colour,  reflecting annual  Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)  data  drawn from 5 London Air Quality Network stations  across London to help visitors visualise air pollution levels. Nitrogen Dioxide comes mainly from road transport and has been linked to asthma prevalence, adverse birth outcomes, cancer and reduced life expectancy.

Across the  UK, almost 2,000 locations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland have levels of air pollution that exceed the WHO’s guidelines.   On  18 March  2019, London  had already breached European and UK  PM10  limit  for the entire year and  nearly every area of the capital breaches WHO guidelines for PM2.5 pollution. 

The #AirWeShare  campaign,  supported by property business Grosvenor Britain & Ireland,  is today urging people to ask their  MP to  support a  legally binding  commitment to meet  World Health Organization  recommended  PM 2.5 limits  by 2030.

TrewinRestorick, CEO and Co-founder of Hubbub  said:  “As air pollution is invisible it’s really easy to ignore this issue,  but there is a very real threat to our health.  There’s lots we can all do to improve the Air We Share and have a positive impact,  but what we really need is legislation and initiatives that deliver clean air for everyone.   We are today urging  everyone to write to their  local  MP to get this important issue higher up on the  Government’s agenda.” 

Tor Burrows, Director of Sustainability and Innovation, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland  said: “Poor air quality in our cities is a reality for too many people. As a business we have committed to achieving net zero carbon by 2030 and are playing our part by reducing traffic, increasing greening and helping all our tenants to operate more sustainably. But this is not enough, we need our elected officials to push harder and faster towards a net zero carbon economy. Please lend your voice to demand the air quality we all deserve by contacting your MP.”  

Professor  Frank Kelly,  Head, Department of Analytical, Environmental and Forensic Sciences,  King’s College  London  said : “Air pollution is a grave risk to human health. The more we have investigated the issue the more problems have been uncovered from effects on the unborn child to a contribution to neurodegenerative disease in adults. Installations like this play an important role in raising interest and understanding about the air pollution challenge and I applaud Hubbub and Grosvenor in working with King’s College London to bring this issue to the public’s attention.” 

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London said:  “It’s great to see campaigners, businesses and academics collaborating on creative ways to help the public understand the dangers of air pollution and encourage them to take action. Air pollution is an invisible killer and I’m taking some of the boldest action of any city in the world to ensure Londoners can breathe clean air. This includes introducing the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone, which has helped slash roadside nitrogen dioxide pollution by around a third in the central London zone.  We need Government to follow London’s lead and MPs to use their voice in Parliament to help clean our filthy air across the country. A key part of this is toughening up targets in the upcoming Environment Bill to meet World Health Organization air quality guidelines by 2030.” 

#AirWeSharecampaign urges people to take  the following actions  to  lower  their exposure to air pollution and to help reduce pollution: 

  • Switch car journeys for ones where you can walk, cycle or take public transport instead 
  • Re-route your journey. Choosing quieter routes rather than main roads has been found to reduce your exposure to air pollution by up to 50% 
  • Do you order online? You can reduce your online footprint by opting for click-and-collect or collect in store (or by choosing not to buy it at all!) 
  • Use your voice and your power to make positive change. MP’s act on our behalf. So,  share  your views with them and invite them to help to improve your local air

The  #AirWeshare  campaign launched in May 2019 and was created by Hubbub and supported by leading companies including Investec plc, Bunzl, First Mile, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, Kingfisher  and  Innogy EMobility UK.  The campaign  provides practical advice  about how people can  protect themselves and their families, what they  can do to reduce their own emissions, and  how they can add their voice to the wider call  for cleaner air.  The #AirWeShare  is also  building a coalition of leading companies who want to test new ways of  reducing air pollution;  creating greener, safer and healthier cities that are better for employees and communities.

The  Pollution Pavilion will remain in Covent Garden’s Piazza until 26 January 2020 and will move to Grosvenor Square in the Spring.

Libby Clegg with her guide dog

Libby Clegg makes history as first Dancing on Ice contestant with sight loss

Double-gold medallist Paralympian and Guide Dogs Ambassador, Libby Clegg MBE, took to the ice on Sunday night as the show’s first ever contestant with sight loss. Libby is no stranger to physical challenges and is keen to show she can hold her own against fellow sighted contestants.

As a champion Paralympian, Libby competes in 100 and 200 metre sprints with an arm strap to connect her with her sighted partner and is therefore used to putting her trust in someone whilst moving at speedHowever, lifts, spins and skate blades add a whole new level of risk, and Libby’s sight loss requires a different approach to training and coaching from her professional skate partner, Mark Hanretty.

Libby comments“As I can’t see the required skating moves before I try them out, I’m reliant on Mark’s powers of description to guide me through. Trust and communication are a key part of being successful and making the partnership work, and I ask a million questions.

“Also, I can hear whether it sounds right. When you skate well it makes a kind of biting noise on the ice and when you do it badly it makes a scratchy noise, which I hear frequently! Although sometimes I think I might have a slight advantage to my fellow contestants, since my lack of vision actually makes the twists, turns and spins easier as I don’t get dizzy!”

Libby’s skate partner Mark, added: “When I heard I was being partnered with Libby I was gobsmacked and terrified in equal measure. But being around someone who’s registered blind and yet copes with life so well, there aren’t words to describe how impressed I am with her. Libby is an incredible human being and I feel I couldn’t have been blessed with a better partner.”

Libby has Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy and is registered blind. She was paired with guide dog, Hatti, a black retriever/labrador cross, five years agoLibby explains how she applied for a guide dog because she was getting fed up of having to explain herself to people. 

Libby concludes: “Because I don’t really look visually impaired, if I bumped into somebody, I felt like I had to give them my life story. Not only that, I was nearly hit by a car on a couple of occasions, so it was a bit dangerous and my family were worried about me. I also walked into a hedge one-day, full body.

“Hatti is invaluable and has supported me to live my life with confidence, independence and on own my own terms.  Whilst Hatti can’t join me on the ice, she will be supporting me rink-side.”

For more information about Guide Dogs, please visit

Push for reusable cups has ambitions to save 150 million paper cups a year

Today, environmental charity Hubbub is announcing their ambition to double the uptake of reusable cups for hot drinks. The initiative has been built using funds collected from Starbucks 5p charge on drinks purchased in a paper cup across its stores nationwide.

Currently 3 billion paper cups are used every year in the UK and it’s estimated that less than 5% of all hot drinks are sold to people bringing a reusable cup. Efforts to increase this figure have seen Starbucks shift sales in reusable cups to 5%, up from 2.2% two years ago. Hubbub plans to work with major retailers and independent coffee shops to raise this to 10% of all sales, which would see a reduction of at least 150 million paper cups a year.

Research released today by Hubbub found that Britons buy an average of 4 take away hot drinks each week, with 1 in 5 buying at least one a day. The research also found that over two-thirds (69%) of people have their own reusable coffee cup but only 1 in 6 say they remember to use them every time they buy a hot drink. The most common reason forthis gap in reusable cup usage is consumersforgetting to taketheir cup with them when they leave home in the morning.  Hubbub also found that the number of people using reusable cups drops off during the day as people feel uncomfortable asking retail outlets to wash their cups and refill them.

Hubbub will be running a range of innovative behaviour change campaigns throughout 2020 to shift this, starting with the Grab Your Cup campaign kicking off in Manchester. As caffeine-seeking commuters return to work from the Christmas holidays, a new ear worm will be reminding them to leave home with their reusable cup. From today, music lovers in Manchester will wake up to a new jingle on radio stations, Spotify and YouTubecreated by Fun Lovin Criminals front man, producerBBC Radio 2 and 6 DJ and allround legend, Huey Morgan.

Grab Your Cup aims to remind people to take their reusable cups in the morning, remove any feelings of awkwardness they may have about taking a reusable cup to a store and shift widespread behaviour by making it the norm to drink from a reusable cup. High street chains Caffe Nero, Costa, Greggs, McDonald’s and Starbucks are being joined by independent stores across Manchester to share the message and this will be supported by adverts in the heart of the city.

Results from the Manchester Grab Your Cup campaign will be assessed by an independent agency and then widely shared to inspire more ambitious reuse campaigns in other cities throughout the year.

Huey Morgan said: Helping rid the planet of unnecessary plastic and single use coffee cups is something I feel really strongly about. My kids are always talking about it, so I was very inspired to get involved. I wanted to make a great song with an important message – hopefully something that cheers people up, gets in their heads and helps them to do their bit for the planet! So, grab your cup cos you know what’s up!”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “In Greater Manchester we are determined to eliminate single-use plastics and we can all do our bit to make that happen.

While our cafes, hotels and restaurants all play a huge part in this, we need our residents to make responsible decisions, such as carrying and using their own reusable coffee cup rather than using a single-use one.

If we all make an effort to make these small changes, we really can make a difference.”

Gavin Ellis, Co-founder and  Director of Hubbub, saidWe’re really pleased to have Huey’s support to share the message that a reusable cup is the best environmental option for take-out teas and coffees, and it saves money too. This collaboration is a first of its kind for an environmental charity, and Huey has come up with a real ear worm which will help make sure that people remember to grab their reusable cup on the way out of the house. This is the first of a number of new approaches we’ll be testing to see if we can shift the needle on reusable cup uptake through positive and playful campaigns.

Haley Dragem, Vice President, Public Affairs at Starbucks EMEA, said: “We’re proud to continue our work with Hubbub trialling out of store waste management solutions and raising awareness of the benefits of reuse. The Grab Your Cup campaign in Manchester is a unique way to encourage people to always carry their reusables whilst on-the-go and addresses on of the key barriers to more customer adoption. We are excited to try something new and see the kind of impact that it can have.”

Meet 2020’s first life-changing puppy

The charity Guide Dogs has welcomed its first guide dog pup of 2020 into the world. The yellow labradoodle pup was born at 15:08 on 2 January at the home of a Guide Dogs volunteer in Hanbury, Warwickshire. The asyet unnamed male puppy is one of over 1,200 new guide dog pups expected to be born this year.

newborn puppy

The pup and his eight siblings were delivered safely by their mother, Emma, under the care of the volunteer. Exclusive footage and photography give a first glimpse of them settling in with mum in their first home.

In about eight weeks’ time, the pups will go to the homes of other volunteers, where they’ll learn and grow for the next 12-16 months.  They will then begin training and continue their journey to become a fully qualified guide dog.

litter of newborn puppies

Brood Supervisor, Tim Bloomfield, said: “Being a part of the journey of a guide dog is so rewarding. Knowing that these pups are coming into the world to make such a huge difference to the lives of people living with sight loss makes it an incredible experience to be a part of.

There are many stages to ensuring a guide dog pup becomes a fully qualified, working guide dog and our supporters and volunteers are essential in making this happen. We couldn’t do it without them!”

Guide Dogs are calling for the public to sponsor a puppy through their journeys to become fully qualified guide dogs. For more information or to sponsor a puppy, visit:

Look for a Little Green Dress this party season

The little black dress is an enduring staple of the party season. But do you really need new one? Environmental charity Hubbub is encouraging people to go green this December.  

Research by Hubbub has found that Britons are set to spend a staggering £2.4bn on new clothing for Christmas parties this year, spending an average of £73.90 per person (men £88.14, women £63.12) on party wear.  What’s more, these outfits are set to have less than three wears with one in five people admitting they won’t wear the same thing to more than one party. 

When it came to the lovely sparkly dresses on sale this time of yearonly 24% know that most party dresses contain plasticIn fact, Hubbub analysed 169 party dresses from 17 different online, high street and designer outlets and found 94% are partially or totally made from plastic/plastic-derived fabrics.  

Hubbub suggests four greener options this season are to: 

  1. Rewearrestyle or upcycle an outfit you already own 
  2. Borrow or swap with friends 
  3. Rent from one of the great rental sites available like ByRotation or Hurr 
  4. Buy second-hand from a vintage shop, online reseller or a charity shop 

Sarah Divall, Project Co-ordinator at Hubbub said: “Vintage and pre-loved clothing has never been so on trend and it’s only going to get bigger, as people realise the massive environmental impact of the fashion industry. Going green doesn’t mean you can’t dress up. There are so many eco-friendly options out there now, including clothes swaps, renting, pre-loved and charity stores, so you can look stunning and save money without damaging the planet.”

The good news is 16-24s are adopting greener ways to dress, as higher numbers swap with friends (36%) and buy from charity shops (30%) than older generations.