Minister for the state Ossian Smyth is delighted to announce government funding for our popular Picker Pals Campaign

In the three short years since Picker Pals started, we will have grown from one classroom to over 1200 classrooms this year !

Minister of State Ossian Smyth said:

“The Picker Pals initiative is one which I am very happy to support. Funding and backing provided by the Department will facilitate the significant expansion of an already very successful scheme. I hope that this can be an inspirational starting-point for a generation of Irish school children.

The Picker Pals programme has so far resulted in more than 9,600 people getting out taking part in litter-picking adventures in their local area. It has also resulted in over 19,000kgs of litter (the equivalent of 24 giraffes) being taken out of the environment. Now with potentially over 75,000 people due to get involved this year, those numbers will soar to 150 TONNES of waste removed from the environment by Picker Pals in a school year.

Using upcycled and fully reusable packaging, Picker Pals provides classrooms with bespoke story and activity books in both Irish and English, and picker-uppers which are taken home by a different child every week.

Each child goes on a litter-picking adventure in their local area with their family and reports back to their classmates on their activity. 

Teachers and Principals are just as enthusiastic about the programme, with 100% of those surveyed saying they would recommend the programme to other teachers.

“I think that over time this initiative will have a significant impact on attitudes in our local area. It has been one of the most meaningful messages I have helped to communicate in my teaching career” Philip O’Brien, 1st Class teacher in Cork

Picker Pals is free to selected participating schools thanks to the support from the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and some local county councils. Register your interest here or if you would like to get involved.

Mindy O’ Brien Executive Director VOICE says “VOICE has supported Picker Pals since2019, as we saw the incredible potential in this innovative programme.  We are proud to see the development and impact Picker Pals has had on children, their families and the natural environment.  Our partnership is strong and we thank the Department of the Environment and all the local authorities and corporate sponsors for their support”.

You can take action or find out more about this campaign here