The Picker Pals crocodile character is named after our founder’s son, Kai. So when the real human Kai started at university in London, we began wondering if Picker Pals could get snappy across the Irish Sea as well. We found our first school, Colville Primary, in Notting Hill. Incidentally, it’s the school which famously starred in the film Love Actually. We’re big Hugh Grant fans in Pickerupolis so we were very pleased about that. Anyway, one thing led to another and we’ve now run a three-year pilot extending to fourteen schools in various parts of London. Our favourite school name so far is Peckham Park Primary. All those Ps!

So far, so good. We’ve found that Picker Pals is as popular with kids, teachers and families in London as it is in Ireland. Of course, litter is litter, kids are kids and people who care, care – wherever they live. And unfortunately, London streets, parks and playgrounds suffer as much as their Irish counterparts – probably more due to the fact that they haven’t had five years of restorative Picker Palling actions like Ireland has.

The plan for the 2024-25 school year, which we’re delighted to share, is to give the Picker Pals programme to 300 classrooms covering all London Boroughs. That will make a great start with a real impact on the hearts, minds and streets of the city. That number of classrooms will mean over 20k litter-picking adventures, nearly 200k hours of environmental learning, 30k active family outdoor hours and 50 tonnes of litter removed from the environment.

To keep Picker Pals free to schools, we need help and we’re off to a great start with sponsorship from Sky UK (who also support Picker Pals in Ireland) and a substantial donation from Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. This will help us get to 34 schools – so we’re over 10% of the way!   

Since Picker Pals began, with a seagull tangled in fishing line, our story has been sprinkled with happy and wonderful coincidences. The craziest of these was when we launched the programme at Colville. We couldn’t believe it when we found out that the class teacher, Ellen Lydon, came from Howth, County Dublin. That’s the same place that Picker Pals began on the day that Patrick met that seagull tangled in fishing line.

We’d love to hear from any schools interested in being amongst the lucky 300 to participate in the full programme in 2024-25 and any organisations or individuals who would like to help us along the way. Go Kai! Go Picker Pals!

For more information go HERE

In Other News

In Other News