Inspirational adventurer heads up Southend beach clean

Published Tuesday, 23rd July 2019

City Beach on a sunny day

A British adventurer, who holds a world record for being the fastest female to row the Atlantic, solo and unsupported, will be visiting Southend for the penultimate stop on a beach clean challenge.

Kiko Matthews will be visiting Jubilee Beach, Southend, on Saturday 27 July to hold a big beach clean as part of her most recent challenge to participate in 79 beach clean ups whilst cycling around our coast – cycling an incredible 7,200km - starting in Margate on Sunday 5 May, and ending in Trafalgar Square, London Sunday 28 July.

The Southend beach clean stop on Kiko’s journey has been organised by Southend Beach Care Group and Shoebury Resident’s Association, with both groups leading local beach cleans, with Southend Beach Care Group providing all the cleaning equipment for the event.

Kiko will be greeted by The Worshipful The Mayor, Cllr John Lamb, along with other dignitaries including cabinet member for environment and planning, Cllr Carole Mulroney, members of Southend Beach Care Group, Shoebury Resident’s Association and Make Southend Sparkle.

Residents are invited to come and join Kiko on her penultimate beach clean here in Southend, with all children who attend being given a small gift. The clean-up is anticipated to begin at 5.30pm and will last for around one hour.

Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “Our beaches are our pride and joy and a real hit for the millions of people that visit our Blue Flag shores each year. However there are a select few who fail to see the damage leaving litter on our beaches is having on the environment.

“Kiko is an inspiration to us all. She has overcome so much and yet never given up, and taking on this latest challenge shows that plenty of work still needs to be done, however actions such as these go a long way to helping to reduce plastic waste in our waters and to highlight the impact beach clean-ups can have.

“I hope that many of you will be able to join us in giving Kiko a warm, Southend-on-Sea welcome on 27 July for this important occasion.”

Keith McGurk, Regional Director for Veolia, said “ This summer, Veolia teams are cleaning beaches every morning, making sure they are nice and tidy to welcome residents and day-visitors  that have come to enjoy the beach in Southend-on-Sea.

“We are always happy to support community litter-picking initiatives, providing equipment and collecting bags. We are delighted to support Kiko’s amazing challenge when she stops in Southend.”

Suzanne Gloyne, Manager of Southend Business Improvement District (BID), said: “The Kik-Plastic 2019 campaign is a brilliant and environmentally-friendly way of highlighting the myriad problems caused by single-use plastics. Southend BID has already installed a number of measures to help reduce littering, such as the GumDrop chewing gum bins and Ballot bins which collect cigarette butts, while in January, we introduced the Refill scheme into Southend, which encourages people to top up their bottles, containers or flasks with free tap water at participating outlets. This is part of our commitment to heavily reduce our reliance on single-use plastic.

“Kiko’s visit and the beach clean activity are timely reminders that there is still much work to be done and that we all have a responsibility to look after the places where we live and visit, especially coastal areas, where marine life is particularly vulnerable to plastic waste.” 

Win O’Sullivan, Southend BeachCare Group leader said, “Southend BeachCare and  Shoebury Residents Association are delighted to welcome Kiko and support her beach clean. Our amazing BeachCare volunteers regularly litter pick the shoreline and talk with beach users about littering and plastic pollution in the oceans. Leave only footprints on the beach.”

The meeting point for the beach clean is near the fountains on Jubilee Beach, with stalls from Make Southend Sparkle and a new plastic recycling project, PlastiCity also attending.