Our Story

Make a better future. Have fun doing it.

This FREE programme has been enjoyed by >1,400 classrooms this year

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Our founder, children’s book author Patrick Jackson was out walking his dog and came across, and managed to free a distressed seagull caught around the neck by a length of improperly discarded fishing line. The next day, in the same place, he found a litter picker-upper. Patrick started litter-picking. Every day. The journey and the Picker Pals story had begun.

The Cloak of Howth, made of beach finds from local beaches raised awareness about what we are doing to our environment through the incorrect use and disposal of largely plastic products and packaging.

We organised a series of well-attended local beach cleans supported by the children in the area. The appetite to pick and motivate pickers was still not satisfied though. There was a feeling that however much litter was picked up, behavioural change was needed.

The breakthrough came with the notion of connecting three things: storytelling, environmental learning and real world action. Picker Packs were fashioned from old sails gathered from kids in the area.

Books were published about the litter-picking adventures of the colourful Picker Pals characters. We even wrote and recorded a song.

Collaboration with environmental NGO, VOICE (Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment)  and the Rediscovery Centre brought our project to a new level. We began to receive sponsorship from local authorities and various corporate and philanthropic donors. This enabled us to think at a different scale about getting more and more packs out to schools. Picker Pals was taking off!

We designed a new range of packing materials to help us deliver the materials during the pandemic and started broadcasting to classrooms via Picker Pals TV. We want to get a picker pack into every primary school in the world and fight back for our environment. Let’s say “Enough is enough!” and help create a generation of young environmentalists, stewarding their local areas and redressing the damage done over the past decades.

The world faces a global crisis of waste in the environment. Every part of the natural world is affected. Neighbourhoods and beauty spots are despoiled. There’s an economic impact of litter on communities and a psychological effect on children living in litter. Communities and families feel powerless and people lack the tools or motivation to take action and the belief that their small actions can impact on global issues. Littering is normalised among certain groups and there is a disconnect with nature and local environmental stewardship. There is the will and the urgent need to find real, practical solutions to this crisis. Picker Pals is one of these solutions and we are proud to play our part.

Picker Pals World

Our Blog

Our Story

Make a better future. Have fun doing it.

How it all Began

Our founder, children’s book author Patrick Jackson, was walking his dog when he came across a seagull caught around the neck in some discarded fishing line. He managed to free the distressed bird. The very next day, in the same place, he found a litter picker-upper. Patrick started litterpicking. Every day. The Picker Pals story had begun.

Picker Pals are GO!

No programme has ever expanded as fast as Picker Pals. How? By making litter-picking fun for kids who lead their families on environmental stewardship adventures in their local areas. Despite taking its first steps at the very beginning of the pandemic, Picker Pals is now in 70% of the schools in Ireland and is spreading fast in Europe and beyond.

Our Vision - A World Without Litter

With the right motivation and tools – children, teachers, families and communities will create a better environment for our shared future.

Changing Behaviour

Picker Pals is about far more than litter-picking adventures. We are changing behaviour and communities. We are creating a new mindset. We are giving people a new way of giving back to our environment and understanding the power of their actions. This is a powerful behavioural change programme with deep engagement and popularity, focussed on learning outcomes, environmental stewardship and fun!

Picker Pals Partners

Delivered in Ireland by
VOICE is a member-based Irish environmental charity that empowers individuals and local communities to take positive action to conserve our natural resources. VOICE is the NGO expert in Ireland on waste reduction and circular economy. As thought leaders in this space, we lead the way and set a high ambition for Ireland’s circular economy, and push for effective national and local policy development and adoption. VOICE works directly with our partners in Europe on joint and shared initiatives, particularly in the development and advocacy of EU policy. We want Ireland to lead the way, demonstrating the benefits of adopting a truly circular economy.
Delivered in London by
Meanwhile Gardens, a four-acre community garden in West London, has a 50-year history of connecting people with nature. As a registered charity, it offers green spaces, volunteering opportunities, gardening workshops, school outdoor learning, a free skate park, and a playhut for local children. The Picker Pals project extends Meanwhile Gardens’ vision of environmental stewardship beyond North Kensington, engaging children and families across London.
Delivered in Portugal by