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The annual CMP Beach Clean: the power of volunteering with purpose

A breezy, gusty and wet Monday in the middle of summer (!) on the south coast: perfect conditions for a small army of intrepid CMP volunteers to undertake our annual Beach Clean.

Around 140 determined environmentalists - a record number for the Beach Clean - were bussed down to Hayling Island to get stuck in to the job of clearing rubbish from the beaches. This year, CMP had teamed up with the Marine Conservation Society providing a more serious purpose to this year's event. In particular, volunteers were collecting smaller plastic items from the beach, to be recorded and added to the data for the national picture.

In total, a remarkable 21 different companies were represented on this volunteering day, an incredible response which shows the power this partnership can muster. Take a bow:

ally and mo media Alphabet Amazon Filters Asahi

BMW Group (UK) Butt Miller Community Foundation for Surrey

Cre8tive Space Gurkha Security Services Happiful

HR Dept MAPP Siemens Healthineers

Signwrite Studios Source Supplies Syniti The Village Hotel

UK Connect Venture Life YRH Finance Zurich Community Trust

CMP's Rachel Austen, who managed the day from beginning to end, was delighted by the enthusiasm and commitment of the volunteers: 'They've done a really great job today, helping the Council to clear the usual rubbish left on beaches.

We've concentrated this year on the smaller items which get missed by the Council - the tiny junk which they simply don't have the resources to clear. This includes cigarette butts which are so toxic to the marine wildlife, taking years to degrade. And of course the plastics which get left to enter the food chain.

I'm so proud of our volunteers who've made a really significant contribution to clearing the beach: it's not just about volume (and goodness me there was loads of junk: 15 sacks!) - it's what they've cleared. It's incredible how much damage the plastics we throw away do to thousands of different species living in our coastal waters.

It was so wonderful to see the way everyone here pitched in, loads of laughter and smiles despite the weather! And after all that - fish and chips and a beer (courtesy of CMP Members Asahi: thanks guys) on a much cleaner beach!'

The impact of the day has been more far reaching than we'd anticipated, at least for volunteer. Step forward Rachel McDermott from BMW who was clearly inspired by the beach clean: 'After today, I am going to buy a litter pick and put it in the boot of my car so I always have it.'

Improving the environment, boosting well-being, changing attitudes and behaviour in the community - what a wonderful testament to the awesome power of volunteering.

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