CHP staff volunteers support sustainability with a Seaham beach clean up

A team of 15 volunteers from the Community Health Partnerships (CHP) North East Property and Operations team undertook a beach clean at Red Acre Beach in Seaham on 9 May 2024.  The beach is close to Seaham Primary Care Centre, one of CHP’s 308 primary care facilities.

The team filled 32 bags with rubbish, a noticeable increase from the 16 bags collected on their previous visit in 2021. The items collected included fishing tackle, clothing, plastic of many kinds, and even three large lorry tyres! On the clean up day two Seascapes volunteers joined the team to provide guidance and support ( A colleague from Hull Citycare, who works closely with the CHP team joined the clean up too strengthening team working.

Beach clean-ups are essential for several reasons:

  • Marine Life Protection: Debris in our ocean poses a grave threat to marine creatures. Many ingest or become entangled in plastic and other waste, leading to injuries or death.
  • Conservation: Coastal ecosystems are intricate and interconnected. Removing rubbish is vital to maintaining their balance, ensuring the survival of various species and the overall health of these environments.
  • Preventing Pollution: Litter on the beach can easily find its way into the ocean, contributing to widespread pollution. By cleaning up our beaches, we prevent harmful substances from entering the marine environment.
  • Human Health: Polluted beaches can harm human health. Rubbish and pollutants can contaminate the water and affect the safety of seafood harvested from these areas. This contamination can lead to health issues in marine life and humans.

Despite the demanding work, the team enjoyed the experience, felt they had made a positive impact, and felt energised and proud of their efforts.  The CHP North East team would recommend that other teams, consider group volunteering to give back to the community while strengthening team bonds.

Simon McKinna, a CHP Operations and Relationship Manager, was instrumental in setting up the activity and working with his colleagues across the North East on arrangements.

The team thoroughly enjoyed their time at Seaham, and I’d like to thank everyone involved in the event for supporting such a worthwhile cause

CHP volunteers at Red Acre Beach Seaham collecting rubbish

It was rewarding to volunteer and good that we have made a difference whilst also getting some exercise and fresh air. Volunteering was good for the environment, our mental health and wellbeing, and a good team bonding exercise. Thanks to everyone involved.

Staff volunteering at Community Health Partnerships

CHP offers all staff two paid volunteering days each year contributing to our social value goals, with the policy launched in June 2023. This beach clean is a great example of that commitment in action. 

It’s been fantastic to see so many of our colleagues volunteering their time to help their local communities in the last 12 months. 20% of our workforce spent an incredible 550 hours volunteering, with countless people benefitting from all our efforts. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this grows over the coming months.

CHP supports sustainability for a Greener NHS

This beach clean is just one example of CHP’s efforts to promote sustainability. As part of the NHS family, CHP is committed to supporting the aim to be the world’s first net-zero health system. This commitment extends across our 308 healthcare buildings, which we aim to make as energy-efficient, sustainable, and resilient as possible.

The team at CHP is focused on reducing the impact of climate change in our healthcare buildings, implementing initiatives that focus on energy efficiency, recycling, and waste reduction.

Read: CHP Green Plan: A Greener CHP a Greener NHS  (March 2022)

Buildings at the heart orange heart and teal building logo

Find out more Buildings at the Heart of the Community

CHP’s Buildings at the Heart of the Community initiative aims to encourage local community groups and charities to make the most of our buildings by enabling the use of space in our centres to host health and wellbeing related events. Our CHP staff also volunteer in their local communities.

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