Borough Market teams up with Good Sixty to offer a brand-new online shopping experience

London’s iconic Borough Market has teamed up with tech and logistics business Good Sixty, which focuses on independent food retailers, to create a new online market shopping experience in the capital. Advances in technology have given people the option of carrying out their weekly shopping online and Borough Market is the first UK produce market to participate in this growing trend by launching a click and collect’ shopping option for customers, along with a sustainable local delivery service powered by zero emission electric bikes 

Although steeped in tradition through its 1,000year history, London’s oldest market has long been a pioneer of sustainable innovation – such as with the installation of its water fountains in 2017, drive to eradicate single use plastic bottles and the recent introduction (in September 2019) of compostable bags for traders to use. Driven by the vision of Borough Market’s charitable trust, and the technology developed by Good Sixty, the Market is preparing for this exciting next stage in its evolution as a provider of world-class national and international produce.   

The Market’s online shopping platform is available now for customers to order delicious produce from a wide range of participating Borough Market traders, and those that like to forward plan will also be able to book their slots for Christmas deliveriesShoppers can visit as many of the trader pages as they wish, adding goods to a virtual shopping basket as they go. Once the order is placed, Good Sixty 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 – perfect for London’s commuters – or it will be dispatched via state of the art zero-emission electric cargo bike to their address at a pre-booked time slot 

At launch, the delivery service will be available to residents within a 1.5-mile radius of the Market, (please see attached map for service coverage) with a view to expanding across London in 2020. 

Darren HenaghanManaging DirectorBorough Market said: “Those who shop at Borough Market do so because they know that the produce here is high quality, sustainably sourced and often unique. While shoppers will continue to want to peruse our many market stalls – taking in the atmosphere, speaking to our knowledgeable traders and discovering something new – we are delighted to be working with Good Sixty to offer an alternative to those who for whatever reason are unable to make it down to us in person. Our online service will ensure that more people are able to regularly get hold of ingredients that they simply wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere. We have listened to what our customers want and are excited to be able to spread our wings in this way, focusing first on local customers in London, but with a view of increasing our reach later down the line. 

Good Sixty was founded in Bristol in 2016 and it currently operates a similar service for local retailers in Bristol and Bath 

Chris Edwards, Founder and Managing Director, Good Sixty saidWe are absolutely thrilled to be working with Borough Market. The quality and provenance of the produce is outstanding, as is the traders’ passion in what they do. The new service has been designed to reflect these qualities online, giving users real insight into each stall and the individuals behind them.  Discovering new delicacies and the traders who make the Market so special makes shopping on the platform really enjoyable.  And what is more, the service will make the Market accessible to many more, opening it up to those who love shopping there but don’t always have the time to explore it on foot. Through Good Sixty, people will be able to shop seamlessly and securely and have their favourite produce from Borough delivered directly to their door. The new platform not only helps support Borough’s independent retailers and producers but ensures the Market is ready for the future, offering Londoners an ethical way to shop onlineBorough Market can become a place where more people do their weekly shop, instead of having to rely on supermarkets.  This is why were called Good Sixty – because research shows that every pound you spend with a local independent producer has a 60% greater benefit to your local community than spending it with a large supermarket. 

To order unique and delicious UK and international produce from a range of Borough Market’s traders, please visi Orders can be placed from Monday 21st October. 

Map showing 1.5 mile radius for Electric Bike Deliveries: 

Customers can visit the Borough Market/Good Sixty online ordering page to check postcode eligibility for electric bike delivery, or choose to use the click and collect service. 

Climate emergency: It’s time to cotton on to organic fashion

Soil Association and Hubbub partner to create impactful water installation at Westfield London

We are in a climate emergency and our thirst for fashion is a big contributorwhich is why Hubbub and Soil Association Certification are urging fashionistas to go organic.

On 3rd and 4th October at Westfield London, environmental campaign group Hubbub and Soil Association Certification, the UK’s largest organic certifier, will open a 3.5-metre-high installation to show shoppers how much water organic cotton saves versus non-organic cotton.

Cotton is a notoriously thirsty crop. In fact, growing cotton accounts for 69% of the water footprint of textile fibre production; just one kilogram of cotton takes as much as 10,000-20,000 litres of water to produce.

The World Economic Forum has identified water scarcity as one of the top ten global risks to society over the next ten years, yet the majority of cotton is grown in countries that are already facing severe water stress.  But there is hope. Growing cotton organically uses significantly less water than conventional cotton – up to 91% less (Textile Exchange 2014).

Organic cotton works with rather than against nature. By using natural techniques, good soil management and seed varieties that are drought resistant, and by growing in areas more suited to cotton farming that are rain-fed, rather than irrigated, organic farmers are saving precious water.

And it isn’t just in the field that organic cotton is saving water. The dyeing and finishing of non-organic textiles can require as much as 200 tonnes of water for every tonne of textiles producedAround 20% of all global water pollution results from the dyeing and finishing of textiles 

Fabrics carrying the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) logo have been made using low-impact dyes and inks in factories where waste water is properly treated before being released. As a result, organic cotton does not pollute water ways. And when you wash it, micro plastics don’t end up in the ocean (which happens when you wash synthetic clothes). 

The story of organic cotton doesn’t stop at water. Textiles carrying the Soil Association or the GOTS logo have been made in factories that have met strict social and environmental criteria. This means that working conditions are safe, and workers’ rights are protected.  

Choosing organic clothing can have a positive impact on people and the planet.  Visit the installation at Westfield London on the 3rd and 4th October and find out how much water growing organic cotton saves as well as the other huge environmental benefits organic cotton brings and follow the tips below for simple actions everyone can all take. 

Clare McDermott, Business Development Director, Soil Association Certification said: “We’re in a climate emergency and awareness of the damaging impact of the fashion industry has never been higher. People want more sustainable clothing options and retailers need to step up and play their part by making options like organic more available in store.

“Our activation at Westfield London is a light-hearted way of doing something serious. Hopefully we can engage shoppers with the benefits of choosing organic and show retailers that there is a real demand for clothing options that reduce the impact of the fashion industry as the organic textiles market continues to grow.” 

Sarah Divall from Hubbub said: “The call for a more sustainable fashion industry has never been louder and encouraging people to make easy switches when they do buy something new, like to organic cotton, can make a real difference. Hubbub is committed to making the fashion industry better for the planet and making it easier for shoppers to make the right choices. This installation is a great way to show brands and customers at Westfield what they can do to make their stores and wardrobes more sustainable.”

Myf Ryan, CMO Europe and Group Director of Brand and Strategic Marketing for Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, said: “We are delighted to welcome Soil Association and Hubbub as partners to launch their campaign to educate and champion organic cotton. Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield continues to positively shape a sustainable positioning and working strategically with expert partners to deliver experiences that can make a difference, and be front of mind for the high-volume of visitors we see at the centres every day.” 

Act now! Together we can make the world of difference 

  • Change the way you shop: Look for organic cotton when clothes shopping, if you need something new. Look for the Global Organic Textile Standard and Organic Content Standard logo on the label. Shop from Soil Association certified organic brands and discover other brands and retailers stocking organic on the Good On You website or app
  • Ask your favourite brands to go organic: Want your favourite brands to stock more organic cotton? Tweet a message (use link that the SA is using) and tag in your favourite labels, asking them to stock more #OrganicForThePlanet @SoilAssociation
  • Share: 39% of people* say they care about the environment, but it’s never occurred to them that their clothes might have an impact. Help us spread the word to your friends – share @SoilAssociation’s social media posts using the hashtag # OrganicForThePlanet
  • Stock it: Are you a brand or retailer? Find out why organic textiles are good for business here 

The sustainable fashion hacks we can learn from Baby Boomers

Britons buy five times the amount of clothing they bought in the 1980s*, so environmental charity Hubbub and natural knitwear experts WoolOvers have come together to look at the generational differences in attitudes towards fashion among British womenTo explore how attitudes differ by age and what knowledge can be shared.

The survey of 2,000 women by Censuswide, alongside a series of focus groups found that younger women can learn a lot from their mothers’ and grandmothers’ about what makes a good quality product, and how to extend its lifetime through care and repair.

Women aged 54 and above take a much more mindful approach to fashion, spending £49 each on average per month but spreading the cost and only buying a new item of clothing every 3-5 months. And almost two thirds (62%) expect their clothes to last for several years.

Whilst British women aged 16-37 (Generation Z and Millennials) spend on average £81 each per month, with 26% of Generation Z buying new clothing between 2-3 times per month. But not even half of these young women (47%) expect their clothes to last many years, with the quality of the design being prioritised much lower than price and fit.

So what is influencing this difference in attitudes towards buying and caring for clothes between the generations?

One of the biggest impacts is likely the shopping experience itself. A third of Baby Boomers (54-72 year-olds) and the Silent Generation (73 year-olds +), shop seasonally, only 18% of Generation Z do the same, as fast fashion allows them to shop 52 ‘micro seasons’ a year.

With the introduction of online shopping in the late 1990s, young women have gone from being influenced by their mothers and grandmothers on where to shop to having multiple avenues of influence via their phone from apps and social media. Generation Z’s spending is impulsive, with social media and the media playing a big part in influencing them on what to buy. They admit to feeling guilty about the money they have spent and are left stressed that they have spent more than they can afford.

It’s also clear that the implications of buying new clothes this way are not fully understood, despite there being concerns about the environmental implications of fashion, less than half (42%) of Generation Z women know what the term ‘fast fashion’ actually means, compared to more than two thirds – 67% – of Baby Boomers 

Fast fashion items, which are produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends, are then consequently falling apart, and when clothing become damaged only 30% of Gen Z will repair it  themselves, with a quarter asking a friend of relative to fix it for them. Whereas more than half (51%) of Baby Boomers repair their own clothes. This was explored further in the focus groups, which resulted in women admitting that fashion had become so cheap that even sewing a button back on seemed like a useless skill. The main reason for not knowing how to repair clothing being down to whether or not they were taught how to by a family member or at school.  

Heather Poore, Creative Director at Hubbub, said: “In a world where sustainable living is so high on the agenda, the fashion industry is somehow still getting away with a ‘business as usual’ approach. While some retailers have introduced ethical lines, people still do not feel educated on the environmental impact of the industry and so are prioritising price and convenience over sustainability. Our research shows that the Baby Boomers and Silent Generation seem to hold the secret to how to buy good quality items and if needed, repair them to extend their lifetime. We need to get women across the UK talking and sharing these invaluable skills and insights, in a bid to tackle the damaging effects of fast fashion.” 

Mike Lester, CEO of WoolOvers, said: “The relationship between generations is important: young women often learn their first style lessons from their mothers and grandmothers while daughters educate their elders on new fashion trends. However, little is known about what older women’s think about the environmental impact of fashion and how and whether they are communicating on this with younger women, so it was something we were keen to explore. It’s clear just how much attitudes differ between the generations and the valuable knowledge mothers and grandmothers can pass on to young women to help them make a positive impact on both their bank balance and the environment.”

To help pass the knowledge on, Hubbub and WoolOvers have collated some of the Baby Boomers’ fashion advice in a series of tips and infographics, download Images and Infographics here.

Scary plastic content in Halloween costumes equivalent to 83 million plastic bottles

New research released today [18th October 2019] by the family nature charity Fairyland Trust, supported by the environmental charity Hubbub, estimates that UK Halloween celebrations this year will generate over 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste from clothing and costumes alone. This is equivalent by weight of waste plastic to 83 million Coca-Cola bottles, over one per person in the UK. 

The October 2019 investigation of 19 retailers found that 83% of the material in 324 clothing items promoted through their online platforms was oil-based plastic. The retailers surveyed were Aldi, Argos, ASOS, Amazon, Boden, Boohoo, Ebay, H & M, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Matalan, Next, PrettyLittleThing, Sainsburys, Tesco, TK MAXX, Topshop, Wilko and Zara. 

The most common plastic polymer found in the clothing sampled was polyester, making up 69% of the total of all materials. The report issued today by the Fairyland Trust and Hubbub calls for better and consistent labelling as many consumers do not even realise that materials like polyester are in fact plastic.

The even more planet-friendly option is to create Halloween costumes from existing or second-hand clothing. The Fairyland Trust runs plastic-free nature events for families such as The Real Halloween which includes a No-new-plastic Fancy Dress Competition. 

Chris Rose from Fairyland Trust said: “The scariest thing about Halloween is now plastic. More costumes are being bought each year as the number of people participating in Halloween increases. Research by Hubbub estimated that 33m people dressed up for Halloween in 2017 and a shocking four in 10 costumes were worn only once. This means it’s vital that we all try and choose costumes that are as environmentally friendly as possible. Concerned consumers can take personal action to avoid buying new plastic and still dress-up for Halloween by buying from charity shops or re-using costumes to create outfits, or making their own from non-plastic materials.”

Hubbub is working with the All Party Parliamentary Group, chaired by Anne Main MP, looking into the environmental sustainability of the fashion industry.

Trewin Restorick, CEO and co-founder of Hubbub, said: “These findings are horrifying. The amount of plastic waste from Halloween costumes is similar to the weight of plastic waste generated at Easter in egg-wrappings. However the total plastic waste footprint of Halloween will be even higher once you take into account other Halloween plastic such as party kits and decorations, much of which are also plastic, or Halloween food packaging, most of which quickly becomes ‘rubbish’ and ultimately, breaks down to be plastic pollution. Retailers must take greater responsibility to offer ranges for seasonal celebrations that don’t worsen the already worrying impact of plastic waste on our planet.”

Tips for dressing up at Halloween without new plastic can be found here.

Ant and Dec meet the adorable guide dog pups who have been named after the nation’s favourite duo

To mark this year’s Guide Dogs Appeal, Pups to Partnerships, Ant and Dec have had two guide dog pups named after them to highlight the power of a strong partnership. An adorable Yellow Labrador puppy has been named after Ant while the playful Golden Retriever has been named after Dec. The much-loved pair met up with their canine namesakes recently for play and cuddles.

Ant and Dec are supporting this year’s Guide Dogs Appeal which follows the progress of a group of seven puppiesThroughout October, the charity is sharing the journey of the puppies as they progress to become life-changing guide dogs.

Speaking of the partnership, Ant says: “We’re so proud to be part of the Pups to Partnerships campaign; not only do we get to meet these adorable puppies but we also get to hear about the great work that Guide Dogs does.  Dec adds: “These puppies will go on to change lives and give two people living with sight loss the independence and freedom we take for granted; we can’t wait to see how these puppies progress.” 

Puppy Ant and Dec are currently living with their Puppy Walkers – volunteers who act as canine foster carers for guide dog pups between the ages of seven weeks and 14 months. 

Ann Bradford, Puppy Walker for puppy Dec says: “Being a puppy walker is about so much more than walking the puppy, although this is a particularly enjoyable part of the job! It is incredible to be able to give a puppy its first sense of home, nurture its character and help to develop its skills, all the while knowing it will go on to change a life.  

More than two million people are estimated to be living with sight loss in the UK today. It is predicted that by 2050, this number will double to over four million. 

The top three causes of sight loss in the registered visually impaired population are, according to Guide Dogs: 

  • Age related macular degeneration (47%) 
  • Glaucoma (16%) 
  • Cataracts (12%)1 

The Guide Dogs Pups to Partnerships Appeal is taking place from the 1st to the 31st October 2019. During the month-long campaign, the charity aims to raise £420,000 to fund the life-long journey of 7 puppies, who will become life-changing partners to people in the UK living with sight loss. For more information on how to get involved, visit: or call 03451 430 192. 

Treasure Your River!

Businesses, residents and organisations situated along five of the UK’s biggest rivers have an opportunity to join the largest ever collaborative effort to prevent and reduce the amount of litter entering our waterways, and subsequently the ocean.

The Treasure Your Rivercampaign will tackle the Rivers Avon, Mersey, Thames, Severn and Forth and their tributaries.  The campaign, which is being run by environmental charity Hubbub and funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation, will initially focus on prevention and clean-up activities on five major cities based on these rivers – Bristol, Manchester, London, Cardiff and Edinburgh, which between them are home to 1 in 7 of the UK population.

Treasure Your River, due to launch in May 2020, will educate the public about how rivers are transporting rubbish from our streets and riverbanks to the sea. As well as tackling littering behaviour with engaging bins and eye-catching interventions, the campaign aims to remove 90 tonnes of litter from these five rivers and their tributaries over the next year.  

Trewin  Restorick  from Hubbub said, “The vast majority of plastics that end up in the world’s oceans are carried there by rivers. Cleaning up the river is one thing but preventing litter getting in there in the first place is really crucial. Until we change behaviour on land, this problem will just continue. 

“Our research showed that 81% of people believe businesses should be doing more to tackle the issue. We want all organisations along the banks of these rivers to come together and help halt the flow of litter into the sea. Whether you’re a sailing club, a school, a local business, a charity or a resident, we want to hear from you!”  

A network of volunteers from organisations including Thames 21, Keep Wales Tidy, Bristol Waste, Mersey Rivers Trust and Changeworks have already signed up. The plan is for the campaign to expand to further rivers and cities in the UK and Hubbub is keen to hear from potential partners in other locations interested in collaborating. 

According to the Canal and Rivers Trust, 500,000 items of litter make their way into the sea from UK rivers every year. However new research shows that 48% of people don’t believe that litter entering drains can easily end up in rivers and then the sea.  The survey of 2,000 UK residents* suggests -that 64% of people feel helpless about tackling the ocean litter crisis and 75% would like to do more to reduce the amount of litter ending up in the sea. 

Liz Lowe, speaking on behalf of The Coca-Cola Foundation, said “We are all aware of the terrible impact that ocean pollution is having on marine wildlife and the environment, and collaborative action is criticalPart of the approach to this is to raise greater awareness of the causes of ocean pollution, which is why we’re funding Treasure Your River – to not only help educate people about how rivers are transporting rubbish from our streets and riverbanks to the sea, but to also help with the clean up of these rivers.

“Water is fundamental to nature, communities and businesses. This is why Coca-Cola has long standing partnerships with organisations such as WWF to help protect rivers  in this country we’ve been working together for the last 7 years in East Anglia to help preserve chalk stream rivers through supporting farmers with on-farm interventions, such as installing silt traps to reduce sediment running off fields into waterways.”

Treasure Your River will engage the public on how they can make a difference through simple behaviour changes such as taking their rubbish home with them, twominute litter picks and responsible disposal of fishing tackle. The campaign aims to create a legacy for each river, with an army of regular volunteers and litter-clearing infrastructure.

To find out more and sign up to the campaign visit


Borough Market to hold ‘Apple Amnesty’ for unique community cider

London’s iconic Borough Market is celebrating the best of British harvest time this October half term (Thursday 24th – Saturday 26th October). In line with the Market’s commitment to sustainability and reducing food waste, Londoners are invited to take part in an ‘Apple Amnesty’ and bring in fruit from their gardens, allotments and school yards, as well as any sitting in fridges and fruit bowls that might otherwise go to waste, for a Borough Market led community cider and apple juice initiative.

Borough Market will be celebrating the UK’s rich harvest heritage over the three days from 11am – 4pm in the glass fronted Market Hall.  Displays will highlight the enormous number of different varieties of apple, squash and other harvest produce available as well as showing visitors the joy of ‘growing your own’ and providing plenty of Autumnal family friendly entertainment. As part of Borough Market’s drive to reduce food waste, there will also be live daily cookery demos showing how to cook up delicious dishes from the season’s haul of fruit and vegetables, including top tips on what to do with surplus.

During the Harvest Celebrations, visitors will be able to watch apples being turned into juice and hear how this will then be made into cider from Borough Market trader, The Cider House. The cider and juice will be available to buy from the Market in April 2020, with profits going towards supporting Borough Market’s community projects. Anyone who brings a pound of apples in for the community pot will receive a ‘£ for a pound’ tokenentitling them to money off when the cider and juice are on sale early next year. 

There will be a wide range of activities throughout the celebration for the whole family, including demo kitchens from 1-2.30pm each day with Borough Market regular chefs: Angela Clutton (Thursday), Kate Young (Friday) and Luke Mackay with Beca Lyne Pirkis (Saturday). For children on half term break there will be a story orchard and demonstrations from fruit and vegetable trader Turnips on pumpkin carving – just in time for Halloween. On Friday (25th) Borough Market’s ‘Young Marketeers’ (children from local schools), will be selling their school-grown Harvest produce for food waste charity FareShareBorough Market’s traders will of course be selling fresh, seasonal and sustainable Autumnal produce.

The celebrations will be kicked off by a short act of harvest worship at Borough Market on Thursday 24th, led by neighbouring Southwark Cathedral.

Darren Henaghan, Managing Director, Borough Market said, “Borough Market is a place where you can really feel the change of seasons, and the arrival on the stalls of the autumn harvest is such an exciting time of year. Our Harvest Celebration will give the community the chance to gather together to mark this moment, as they have done throughout the centuries. We’re looking forward to welcoming families to our story orchard and seeing what the Young Marketeers have managed to produce in their school gardens. Our community cider and apple juice initiative will really capture the twin elements of fresh, local produce and public participation—we can’t wait to make something seasonal and sustainable with a little help from all of our friends.”

Mary Louise Topp from The Cider House London gives her ‘Topp’ tips on storing apples and making juice/cider: 

Storing Apples 

For cider, we don’t like our apples polished! There will be an element of natural yeast on the skins of the apples and by rubbing them to polished perfection you will be taking all those airborne, natural yeasts with it, and they are vital for kickstarting our ferment. All that’s needed is a quick dunk in clean water and a gentle dry with a soft cloth.

Ultimately you want to be keeping the apples dry and with a good airflow, so do not store in plastic bags. After you have got all the apples nice and dry, store in an open cardboard box or wooden crate. Keep an eye on them for a couple of days, apples that have split or are badly bruised are likely to start to rot and that will spread through the whole harvest.

Making juice and cider: 

One of our secrets to getting a great tasting juice is to leave the mashed pulp a few hours or overnight and then press the following day. This allows all the pectin to break down in the apples resulting a fruitier, juicier pulp ready for juicing. 

Cider can take as little as thirteen weeks to fully ferment, however, we like to wait a little longer. We follow the old rule ’never drink the cider until you hear the first Cuckoo calling’ We like to be patient and allow the juice to fully finish its ferment and rest. We won’t touch a drop until we hear her sing in mid- April.

Borough Market’s three day Harvest Celebrations will run from 11am – 4pm in the Market Hall from Thursday 24th October until Saturday 26th October. For more information on the apple sellers and where to buy the cider at Borough Market visit 

Over two thirds of people living with sight loss say trust is the most important factor in a partnership

To mark the 2019 Guide Dogs Appeal, Invictus Games winner Kelly Ganfield, speaks out about how her guide dog has changed her life 

To mark its first month long Appeal this October, the charity Guide Dogs has issued new research which shows just how important a trusted partner can be for people with sight loss. One in four people with a vision impairment need support or assistance every day to live the life they choose but more than half (53%) feel awkward asking for help.

Andrea Gordon, Engagement Manager for Guide Dogs and guide dog owner said: “Asking for help can often be a challenge from a practical point of view when going about your daily life. For example, if you live on your own and need assistance at home or simply trying to find someone on the street who can help when you’re out and about. Independence and feeling empowered are vital for people living with a vision impairment; we want to get to work, see friends and enjoy life just like everyone else. Unfortunately the act of asking for help can sometimes be a challenge which is why guide dogs transform lives – they enable freedom, choice and crucially, independence.”

To ensure people living with sight loss can lead the life they choose, a trusted partner – a family member, spouse, friend or in some cases, a guide dog – is often vital. When respondents were asked which factors they felt were most important for a good partnership, trust came out on top with 71% citing it as the most important for professional partnerships and 78% saying it was the most important for a personal partnership.

This year Guide Dogs is naming its Appeal, Pups to Partnerships. Over the four weeks, the charity will be following the progress of a litter of 7 puppies to show their journey to becoming unique and invaluable partners for their future owners.

When Guide Dog Owners were asked what the most outstanding thing was that their guide dog had done for them that enabled them to live an independent life, examples were wide ranging from providing essential companionship to safely guiding them through public spaces. Yet the most common response was the dog enabling the individual to get out and about, feel safe and have a sense of freedom. Other examples included enhancing and developing the owner’s lifestyle and providing companionship and freedom.

Kelly Ganfield, guide dog owner and Invictus Games silver medal winner says: “My guide dog Archie recently came to live with my family and he has transformed my life. Thanks to him I can go to my training sessions independently and take my daughter on the school run, things I could never have imagined doing before. He is enabling me to be a Mum and an athlete in my own right, safe in the knowledge that he is always there with me. It’s not just Archie, it’s my Guide Dogs Mobility Instructor as well. She’s always on the end of the phone if I have any questions about Archie; she’s been instrumental in helping us to form our lifelong bond. I won silver at the Invictus Games but I won gold with Archie.”

The Guide Dogs Pups to Partnerships Appeal will take place from the 1st to the 31st October 2019. During the month-long campaign, the charity aims to raise £420,000 to fund the life-long journey of 7 puppies, who will become life-changing partners to people in the UK living with sight loss. For more information on how to get involved, visit or call 03451 430 192.

Veteran and Homeless Prevention Officer Alan Marshall

Homeless veterans are slipping through the net, new analysis of government data shows

Homeless veterans are being missed by local authorities and are losing out on the enhanced support and housing available to them, according to the No Homeless Veterans campaign which launches today [24 Sept].

The latest Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) homelessness data reveals that over the last year just 1,780 homeless veterans were identified by local authority housing services, out of 246,290 cases of homelessness recorded in the period – just 0.72% of accepted cases. Studies suggest that up to three per cent of people sleeping rough in England are ex-Service personnel*.  Experts from the campaign warn the number identified should be far higher and that over 3,500 homeless veterans could be slipping through the net each year.

The No Homeless Veterans campaign aims to reduce veterans’ homelessness as close to zero as possible. It calls on local authorities, homelessness charities and advice agencies such as Citizens Advice, to ‘Think Veteran’ in order to identify former Servicemen and women and signpost them to the enhanced support services available to them.

The campaign is coordinated by Stoll, the leading provider of supported housing to vulnerable and disabled veterans and led by the Cobseo (Confederation of Service Charities) Housing Cluster, which co-ordinates the response of charities to homeless veterans. It is funded by the Forces in Mind Trust.

A new survey released today to coincide with the launch of the campaign shows overwhelming public support for veterans. Eighty per cent of the British public agree more needs to be done to identify and support veterans at risk of homelessness. The vast majority (95%) believe stable housing is important in helping veterans adjust to civilian life.

Ed Tytherleigh, Co-Chair at the Cobseo Housing Cluster, said:

“Most veterans make a smooth transition from military to civilian life, but it is too easy for ex-Service personnel, especially younger veterans and early Service leavers, to end up homeless. We believe we can reduce the incidence of homelessness among veterans as close to zero as possible. But this will only happen if we ensure we are effectively identifying veterans and providing a clear housing pathway. We are calling on local authorities and advice agencies to support the No Homeless Veterans campaign, to identify veterans in housing need and channel them through to appropriate support as quickly as possible. Together, we can end this shameful but avoidable situation.”

Kate Henderson, Chief Executive at the National Housing Federation, said:

The fact that there are still veterans sleeping in inappropriate accommodation, in hostels and on the streets means that the pledges made in the Armed Forces Covenant are not being honoured. The support and housing is there for veterans, but we need to make sure everyone who comes into contact with those in housing crisis recognises their circumstances and is aware of the help that is available. The figures only account for those whom the authorities deem homeless, and the true number of homeless people, including veterans, is likely to be much higher.”

Dame Kelly Holmes, Olympic champion and ex-Army Sergeant, said:

No veteran should be homeless. The campaign research confirms eighty-five per cent of the British public believe we have a duty to solve veterans’ homelessness. That is why I am supporting the campaign to help our country’s veterans when they need it most. Stable housing is key to helping adjust to all aspects of civilian life – work, family, health and wellbeing. I want to encourage others and especially those on the front line dealing with homelessness, to ‘Think Veteran’ and get ex-Service personnel in need of help to the support available to them.”

Mac McLaren (42) was an infantry Soldier in the British Army for seven years (1998-2005), including three tours in Northern Ireland, two tours in Bosnia and one in Iraq.

When injuries forced Mac to leave Service life behind, he was distraught. Without the structure and discipline of the Army Mac became homeless and spent a year staying on friends’ sofas or sleeping in his car. He approached his local authority, Glasgow City Council, for social housing but was told he didn’t have enough housing points and was put at the bottom of the list.

Then in 2014 Mac’s marriage broke down and he again found himself homeless. He once again approached his local authority for housing help but again missed out on being housed because he was told he was not a priority case. This was before the Armed Forces Covenant was put in place to protect veterans. It wasn’t until he contacted the charity Stoll, a provider of supported housing to veterans, that his needs were finally addressed.

Mac says: “Within no time I had somewhere to call home and the safety net I needed to help me get my life back on track. The No Homeless Veterans campaign helps local authorities honour the pledge made in the Armed Forces Covenant and means veterans will no longer find themselves in the position I was in. Before I found Stoll it felt like everyone had turned their back on me. I was in a very low place and felt like I had run out of options. I just wanted the same as anyone else – a place I could call home.”

Woman in London Underground on way to work

British workers expect better from bosses on air pollution

Businesses urged to prioritise air quality as nine in ten workers are in the dark on policies to reduce air pollution 

Flexible working, sharing information about local clean air routes and incentivising active travel are just some of the ideas being put to businesses today as new research suggests employers need to do more to protect staff both in the workplace and on their commute.  

Despite growing public awareness of the harmful effects of air pollution, nine in 10 UK employees are in the dark as to whether their employer has policies to protect them from air pollution, both on their way to and from work and in the work place:  

  • six in 10 workers believe their employer has no policy at all  
  • two in 10 simply don’t know   
  • one in 10 thought their employer had a policy but it wasn’t communicated to staff   
  • less than one in 10 receive regular communication from bosses on the issues 

According to new research, released today by environmental charity Hubbub as part of its #AirWeShare campaign, and just ahead of London’s first ever ‘car free’ day this Sunday, more than two thirds of workers in the UK believe employers should take responsibility to ensure the air their staff are breathing in the work place is safe.  

Professional drivers and outdoor workers are among the most exposed professions, but office employees can also be exposed to high levels of pollution, if they’re commuting into busy urban areas and travelling to and from work meetingsNearly half (46%) of those surveyed think employers should take more responsibility to protect staff on their commutes. 

Woman in London Underground on way to work

Health research is increasingly showing air pollution can affect all organs of the body across the course of a lifetime. Recent revelations include links to reduced cognitive abilities, diabetes and the first direct evidence of pollution particles in mother’s placentas. Given that the average British worker spends nearly 85,000 hours at work in their lifetime, and more than 14,000 hours getting there and backiiit’s clear businesses have a significant role to play in addressing this public health crisis.  

Today, Hubbub is calling on all employers to check, update – or even develop from scratch – their policy on air pollution to protect the health and wellbeing of their staff. As well as reducing exposure, policies should look at how businesses can reduce their own contribution to air pollution across their operationsHubbub is also asking more businesses to step forward and join the #AirWeShare movement to accelerate the process of cleaning up the air in our cities.  

Trewin Restorick, founder and CEO of Hubbub, said: “Employers have a huge role to play in protecting their workforce from pollutionwhilst in the workplace and travelling during the working day and on the commute. Our research suggests that many employers either have no policy on this or are simply not communicating it.  We want to empower workers to ask their bosses what they are doing to protect them and to request that changes are made if they are falling short. And businesses need to show that they are willing to take action to support and protect their workforce from the effects of air pollution.  

When asked what their own boss could do to help them reduce their exposure to air pollution, the most popular ideas were: installing air purifiers in the workplace (47%), allowing flexible working or home working (42%) and cash incentives to encourage people to cycle, walk or take public transport to work instead of driving (40%). One in five workers would consider grouping online shopping deliveries with colleagues to avoid lots of polluting vans delivering individual parcels to their office. 

As well as the business benefits of a healthier workforce, tackling the air pollution problem could also support recruitment and retention; when job-hunting, nearly two thirds (64%) of workers would find a potential employer attractive if they had an air pollution policy in place.    

Craig McWilliam, CEO, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland said “We’ve introduced a number of new technologies to our London office to create a healthy space for our staff and improve environmental efficiency. A large living wall which spans two floors and green columns on every floor have brought our sustainability goals visibly to life and helped us reach 100% optimum air quality on readers we placed in our reception. As the first private sector organisation to join the London Air Quality Network, we are tracking our progress in reducing air pollution exposure on street for workers, residents and visitors and are proud to be on track to cut carbon emissions on our estate in half by 2023.” 

Top tips for businesses: 

  • Think flexibly: Consider allowing employees to work from home on some days, or stagger their start/finish times to avoid the roads during the most polluted hours. 
  • Incentivise active travelWith pedestrians and cyclists being shown to be less exposed to air pollution overall than those that used cars or public transportiii, incentivise staff to walk or cycle to work or between meetings, where possible. Consider signing up to the ‘cycle to work’ and providing cycle safety training. 
  • Celebrate quiet ways and green spaces: Taking back routes can reduce exposure by 50% on average, so share information about local clean air routes with employees so they can avoid areas of high pollution. Celebrate local green spaces and tranquil areas.  
  • Green up deliveries: Streamline deliveries and servicing, and consider using an ultra-low emission supplier. Reduce personal deliveries to the office by encouraging employees to use ‘click & collect’ services. 
  • Green up your building: Conduct an energy review and include the impact of pollutants. Upgrade and fine tune your Building Management System and consider installing low NoX boilers. 

The #AirWeShare campaign provides businesses with an opportunity to take the lead, exploring what they can do individually and collectively to best engage policy makers, clients, employees and the public. Over the coming months, Hubbub will be working closely with partner businesses to introduce well-being activities that address air pollution with their employees and act as a source of inspiration across the UK.  Businesses interested in joining the growing collaboration working to tackle this issue should email or visit  

High street businesses losing millions by shunning disabled consumers, new research reveals 

New research shows UK businesses – including high street brands – are losing millions of pounds of revenue every year by turning their backs on disabled consumers.

More than 13 million people in the UK – a fifth of the population – are disabled.

A new poll of people who consider themselves to be disabled has found that more than half of respondents are struggling to make purchases of a product/service due to their disability. Disabled young people (aged 16-24) fare the worst – more than three-quarters of them say they have found it difficult to buy goods online or in person due to their disability on more than one occasion. 

Some four in five disabled customers say businesses could do more to be accessible and more than half (56%) agreed that improving staff understanding about different disabilities would encourage them to spend their disposable income, estimated to be £249 billion a year. Separate research has shown that 75% of disabled people have had to leave a store or website, unable to go through with their purchase because of their disability.

Respondents state that retail is the most accessible business to purchase from, followed by banking and hospitality/leisure/restaurants. The research comes as businesses and organisations prepare for ‘Purple Tuesday’ on 12 November, a day which celebrates UK companies that are improving the customer experience for disabled shoppers. Major names taking part include Sainsbury’s and Intu. 

Mike Adams OBE, Chief Executive of Purple, the disability organisation behind Purple Tuesday, said: 

Mike Adams OBE Purple CEO at Piccadilly Lights Purple Tuesday 2018

“While many UK businesses and organisations are stepping up to the mark and making the changes needed to improve disabled customers’ experiences, far too many are not. 

“This is a huge mistake, not least because by turning their backs on disabled shoppers, they are losing out on millions of pounds of revenue every year. 

“It should simply not be the case that one in two disabled people struggle to make purchases online or in person. Small changes can make a big difference to the customer experience; we want to help organisations have the confidence to improve their services for disabled people.” 

Disabled consumers told pollsters that inaccessible and unusable locations, poor customer service and a lack of understanding about disabilities were the main reasons they struggled to spend their money.  

Over 1 in 5 said that hiring more disabled people would make them more likely to make a purchase and some stated that “wider aisles” or “lighter doors” would have the same effect. The findings support previous research, which shows that less than 10% of organisations have a dedicated strategy for targeting disabled customers4 

The potential of the purple pound is clear – disabled people say they spend on average £163 on retail per month, £117 on banking, £98 on travel, £69 on insurance, £78 on hospitality (such as at restaurants or on leisure activities) and £19 on gym or health activities.  

Carole Hughes, from Liverpool, was born with spina bifida and has been using a wheelchair since 2015. She shops regularly at large supermarkets and department stores around the city. Carole said: 

“I often have problems getting around stores and supermarkets, either because the aisles are too narrow or there are items blocking the way. It can be a challenge to find staff who are willing to help – sometimes I’m made to feel like a nuisance when I ask for basic assistance.  

“There needs to be more consistency with staff training. Other things like making more doors open automatically and locating accessible parking spaces close to store entrances also make a huge difference to wheelchair users.  

“I’d urge all organisations to sign up to Purple Tuesday and make sure they are providing a better shopping experience to their disabled customers.” 

Organisations that register for Purple Tuesday will benefit from free resources from Purple on topics such as website accessibility and customer service training. In exchange, Purple asks that business make a minimum of one commitment to improve the customer experience for disabled people.  

These commitments might be major transformations or simple, smaller steps that can improve the experience of disabled customers. Examples include conducting an audit of an organisation’s website to ensure it’s accessible or staff training to help them communicate effectively with disabled consumers.   

For more information on Purple Tuesday, please visit 

Last year, which was the first ever Purple Tuesday, more than 750 organisations took part, pledging 1,500 commitments to improve disabled people’s customer experiences. They included some of the biggest brands on the high street, including Argos, Asda, Barclays, Sainsburys.   

Birmingham crowned winner of the UK’s first ‘plastic fishing’ competition

Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country awarded with its own plastic fishing boat to help tackle plastic pollution in local canal and river network

Birmingham has today been crowned winner of the UK’s first ‘plastic fishing’ competition by environmental charity, Hubbub. Following a UK-wide tour, the Poly Roger – a 12-seater punt made from 99% recycled plastic – has been awarded to the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country after it beat organisations in three other cities to win the boat, built to help clean up plastic pollution in UK waterways. 

The Poly Roger’s plastic fishing tour started in April, visiting Manchester, Scotland, Bristol and Birmingham, where Hubbub partnered with local organisations and volunteers in each location who had nominated their area to join the tour as part of a competition in partnership with the Daily Mirror. The tour saw residents being taken out on plastic fishing trips to raise awareness of the growing levels of plastic pollution in UK waterways and encourage more people to recycle their used plastic.  

© Lucy Young 2017

The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country was chosen as the winner after 138 volunteers took part in collecting 28 bags of litter in just six days. In the coming months the organisation will use the Poly Roger to offer plastic fishing as part of its ‘Wild Work Days’ initiative which encourages businesses to give something back to the local area.  The Trust will use the boat to help it measure biodiversity in the region and to educate schools, community groups and members of the public further on the issue. 

The plastic fishing initiative has come from Hubbub and has been built using funds collected from Starbucks’ 5p charge on drinks purchased in a paper cup across its 950 stores nationwide.  The Poly Roger is only the third boat of its kind in the world and the first to launch outside of London. 

The craftsman tasked with building the boat was expert boat-builder Mark Edwards MBE, who also built the Queen’s barge ‘Gloriana’.  The design is based on a traditional punt, but it’s made from the most modern of materials – Plaswood, a hardwearing alternative to wood that is made entirely from recycled single-use plastic – and it’s powered by a rechargeable electric motor making it the most sustainable of boats. 

During its tour of the UK, the Poly Roger made 55 trips and took 599 volunteers plastic fishing. Overall, 2,233 plastic bottles and 192 bags of general litter were collected from the UK’s waterways. 

Jacob Williams, Community Engagement Officer from Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country said: “We’re delighted to have won the Poly Roger! Reducing plastic pollution in the oceans starts closer to home, in our local canals and rivers. It’s going to be a fantastic resource for us to engage communities all over Birmingham and the Black Country so we can work together to clean our waterways whilst showcasing and protecting the vibrant nature and wildlife found around them.” 

Gavin Ellis, Co-founder and Director of Hubbub, said: “Plastic pollution in our waterways is widespread so it’s been fantastic to see the Poly Roger go on tour to help tackle and raise awareness of the issue. We were really impressed with the way the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country brought people together to promote plastic fishing in Birmingham during their time with the boat and are really excited to see the good work continue over the coming months. We hope the Poly Roger will make a real difference to the local waterways in Birmingham and act as a constant reminder of the importance of recycling plastic.” 

Jaz Rabadia, UK senior manager of energy and sustainability, Starbucks Europe Middle East and Africa, said: “Minimising our environmental footprint and making a positive difference to the planet is a big focus for our business which is why we continue to support Hubbub and initiatives including the Plastic Fishing tour. The tour has been a great success and we’ve been so impressed with how the public has responded and with the organisations involved. The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country is a very deserving winner and we’re looking forward to seeing how it uses the Poly Roger to help tackle and raise awareness of plastic pollution.”  

To find out more about plastic fishing across the UK and how to get involved in Birmingham visit