The Picker Pals got straight back to work in January, supporting hundreds of children and their families who are braving the wintry weather each day to go outside, pick up litter and make their communities better!

By Gary Jones

1,385 classrooms are taking part this year, including the exciting addition of 20 schools on a new “Level 2” pilot programme that includes updated books and replenished supplies of litter bags and gloves, while allowing the ongoing reuse of the equipment from their first pack.

Teachers are showing their support for Picker Pals too by logging into our online engagement events in their hundreds.  

So far, just under 700 classrooms have attended our Welcome Zooms and Live Meet-Ups.  

We’re particularly pleased with the popularity of these online gatherings, as they link classes together from all corners of the country, meaning that the children can see that they are part of a much larger & dynamic community of young environmentalists!

We also use the calls to teach about wider environmental topics, using our new ‘Picker Pals World’ series of presentations. (available for free download HERE).

These resources are varied and child-friendly, covering topics such as Litter, Plastic, Reducing, Reusing, Recycling, Biodiversity, Activism, The SDG’s, Scientific Skills and more!  

We believe each subject is not only important for young environmentalists to be aware of, but crucially, they also link very nicely with the rest of Voice’s campaigns, including a big section on the DRS in our recycling lesson and some super child-friendly information that was given by the Sick of Plastic team in our plastic presentation.

The addition of these educational resources celebrates and strengthens the links between Picker Pals and other Voice campaigns and we are delighted that our privileged position in schools can be used to spread the wider Voice messages directly to teachers and their students.

We’re currently running our art competition

This was such a huge success last year that we felt it had to be run again in 2024.  Schools have until February 9th to submit their entries on the comprehensive theme of “Picker Pals”.  Some eye-catching entries have been submitted that are made from recycled materials, so we’re excited and eager to see even more.  The top prize will be a beautiful customised Picker Pals mural for the winning school.

We are extremely thankful, as ever to our supporters, the Department of the Environment, Climate & Communications for enabling the programme to thrive.  In addition, 22 local authorities are actively supporting Picker Pals this year to deliver the programme to even more schools in their areas.  We’re also very lucky to have the support of BMW Ireland and some of its dealers from around the country.

Farewell Angela

Finally, we said goodbye to our long-standing project manager, Angela Kenny this month.  Angela helped to build Picker Pals from small beginnings over 3 years ago into the hugely successful project it is today.  

FarewellWe wish Anglea the best in her new environmental adventures and thank her wholeheartedly for her amazing work ethic, attention to detail and fun!