(13 December 2021) Beach Buddies is sporting a fresh new look thanks to a helping hand from the local community.
Island residents can now spot the beach cleaning charity out and about in its distinctive new truck, which was transported to the Island free of charge courtesy of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.
Funded through donations through individuals and organisations, including Ramsey-based AFD Software and the Gough Ritchie Trust, as well as a fundraising lockdown litter-picking event by Anna Cottle, it will replace the current vehicle which clocks up an average 20,000 miles around the Island each year.
The red Isuzu DMax Fury will be in action at the regular beach cleaning sessions this winter and beyond.
Founder of Beach Buddies, Bill Dale, explained: ‘Given the mileage we clock up most weekends – recovering large bags of marine litter and transporting vast quantities of rubbish which has been washed up on Manx shores – we realised we would need to acquire a replacement vehicle.
‘After a fairly major hunt lasting many months, we found another diesel-fuelled truck in Doncaster. We would have liked to buy an electric truck, but the cost was extremely expensive; however, we have made a commitment that our next truck will be an electric vehicle in keeping with the spirit and aims of our charity.
‘We are really grateful to the Steam Packet Company – a long-time supporter of Beach Buddies – for offering free passage of the truck back to the Island. It is very much appreciated and makes a big difference to a charity like ours which is large on volunteer numbers, but very small in terms of finances.’
Founded in 2006, Beach Buddies is dedicated to putting the Isle of Man on the map for having the cleanest beaches in Europe and holds regular beach cleaning sessions Island-wide, involving volunteers of all ages, and also has its own visitor centres at Niarbyl and Gansey.
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Managing Director Brian Thomson said: ‘Beach Buddies is a charity which needs little introduction and the work it regularly carries out, striving to transform our Island’s coastline and make the Isle of Man a clean and pollution-free destination for everyone, is something we wholeheartedly support.
‘As a result, we were naturally keen to support the charity as it raises awareness about the careless disposal of litter and spreads the message to the public about the dangers this causes to the environment and wildlife. We look forward to seeing the new vehicle around the Island.’