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The Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association

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Regulation matters! 05/06/2024

Lorcan Mekitarian emphasises the importance of regulations in ensuring the safety, transparency, and consistency of cleaning chemicals to prevent the misleading claims and unethical practices that emerged during the pandemic.

THE PANDEMIC changed a lot of things, in our personal and working lives. The Covid-19 Public Inquiry will identify the impact of the pandemic and the lessons we need to learn. It’s clear, though, one of issue is with us today and it poses a challenge to all who buy and use cleaning chemicals.  

During the pandemic demand for cleaning and hygiene products, in particular cleaning chemicals and hand sanitisers, soared. All sorts of companies with no, or at best tangential expertise, began to produce these products, making extraordinary and unjustifiable claims for their efficacy. We got used to moving at pace and accepting product claims with little or no interrogation. 

Today, the argument in the pandemic that there was little time for verification is playing out in the climate change arena, with some arguing technology is moving so fast there is no time for independent verification or regulation. Pause for a moment and let their argument sink in. The suggestion is that the need for some kind of environmentally sustainable solutions far outstrips the need to know if the solution is indeed environmentally sustainable, if it works or how to use it to be certain it is safe. These companies use gobble-de-gook or undefined phrases like ‘non-renewable chemicals’, ‘chemical-free’, ‘natural’ and ‘non-toxic’ to promote their products.

Regulations, however, matter. They guarantee safety. They underpin transparency and ensure consistency. They provide a framework for comparison, so a buyer really knows if they are getting the product or solution they need. They also provide accountability, giving buyers a route to recourse if needed.  In short, they underwrite an ethical approach. 

If you are buying cleaning chemicals our advice is always to look for independent verification and to make sure the supplier has the relevant regulatory approval. For example, the term ‘biodegradable’ as it is applied to cleaning products, is defined in current legislation (Detergent Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 and corresponding UK post Brexit legislation). Something claiming to be ‘organic’ should be certified by, for example, the Soil Association. ‘Net-zero’ claims should be based on the international net-zero standard (https://sciencebasedtargets.org/net-zero) or another reliable third party verified certification.

Every member of the CHSA has signed our rigorous Code of Practice, which demands our members trade ethically. Amongst other stipulations, it requires members to:

  • conduct business dealings in an open, honest, fair and proper manner and in accordance with the laws, rules and regulations of the UK and EU.
  • ensure all public statements made by and on behalf of the Member are decent, honest and truthful.
  • ensure no false or exaggerated claims are made verbally, in literature, electronically or in any other way.
  • hold and provide evidence on request for product and service claims, particularly with reference to legislation, certifications and accreditations.

Our Code of Practice also includes the Competition & Market’s Authority’s Green Claims Code. Its principles are summarised as:

  • Claims must be truthful and accurate.
  • Claims must be clear and unambiguous.
  • Claims must not omit or hide important relevant information.
  • Comparisons must be fair and meaningful.
  • Claims must consider the full life cycle of the product or service.
  • Claims must be substantiated.

Finally, every member of the CHSA’s Accreditation Scheme for manufacturers of cleaning chemicals has signed the CHSA’s own ethical marketing code.

Our advice to buyers of cleaning and hygiene chemicals is simple. 

  • Be sceptical. If a claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is
  • Ask for supporting evidence. Reputable companies will be willing and able to provide data sheets, reports, certificates or other evidence to support the claims
  • Buy from a reputable supplier with a track record 
  • Specify CHSA Accreditation. Our standards, your guarantee.

Lorcan Mekitarian is chair of the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association

For more information visit​ www.CHSA.co.uk

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New chair of CHSA Accreditation Schemes 13/06/2024

NICKY BIGGART, Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) council member and UK & European sales manager at Evans Vanodine has been elected chair of the CHSA Accreditation Schemes.

The CHSA Accreditation Schemes maintain standards in the cleaning and hygiene industry, guaranteeing ‘what’s on the box is what’s in the box’. As chair of these Schemes, Nicky will work closely with the Independent Inspector to manage the inspection process and make sure members comply with the Scheme standards. Reporting to the CHSA’s Governing Council, Nicky will also lead the evolution of the Schemes to ensure they reflect the changes in the market. 

Lorcan Mekitarian, chair of the CHSA said: “We are delighted Nicky has taken on the important role of chair of our Accreditation Schemes. She understands buyers and end users need standards and regulations to be certain they get what they pay for and is committed to both maintaining the integrity of the Schemes and spreading the word about their value. It’s no surprise her election was unanimous.” 

Nicky’s career began at Swallow Hotels, on the company’s graduate programme. She moved to John Deas & Company, the independent distributor that served the hospitality sector before joining Peter Grant Papers (now Northwood Hygiene Products) and then SCA (now Essity). Today she is UK & European sales manager for the professional hygiene division at chemicals manufacturer, Evans Vanodine.   

Explaining her decision to become chair of the CHSA’s Accreditation Schemes, Nicky said: “In the cleaning chemical sector we are seeing new entrants suggesting regulations are not necessary and restrict innovation. Without them, however, there is no guarantee the products will work or are safe to use. This trend has strengthened my long-standing commitment to standards. The CHSA’s Accreditation Schemes have made a significant contribution to standards in our industry, and I am delighted to play my role in taking them forward.” 

The CHSA has six Accreditation Schemes: 

  • Accredited Manufacturers of soft tissue guarantee the dimensions and count of every product and other required information is as indicated on the label.  
  • Accredited Manufacturers of plastic sacks guarantee they are fit for purpose and the dimensions and count and other required information are as indicated on the label.   
  • Accredited Manufacturers of cotton mops guarantee the weight, absorbency and, where relevant, the cotton content. They also guarantee the dimensions and count, and other required information are as indicated on the label. The dimensions and count of all ancillary products are also covered by the Scheme.  
  • Accredited Manufacturers of cleaning and hygiene chemicals guarantee the product volume and other required information is as specified on the label and fully supported by relevant test data. In addition, they guarantee the containers and plastic bottles holding the chemical products are recyclable.  
  • Accredited General Manufacturers have signed the CHSA’s Code of Practice.  
  • Accredited Distributors have committed to buy cleaning and hygiene products from a CHSA Accredited Manufacturer or product that conforms to the relevant Scheme standard. They also guarantee cleaning and hygiene products not covered by a CHSA Accreditation Scheme for Manufacturers conform to the clear and rigorous commitments within the Code of Practice.    

Every CHSA member has also signed the CHSA’s Code of Practice, which includes the Competition and Markets Authority’s Green Claims Code. The combination of the Code of Practice and Accreditation Schemes guarantee CHSA members:   

  • Trade ethically and sustainably;  
  • Provide quality, fit for purpose products; and  
  • Make sure what’s on the box is what’s in the box.  

  For more information visit​ www.chsa.co.uk  

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Working to a sustainable future 11/04/2024

Lorcan Mekitarian discusses the CHSA report which provides comprehensive e guidance for the cleaning industry on transitioning to sustainable practices.

WORKING TOWARDS a sustainable future is incredibly challenging because identifying the most sustainable option is not easy. The CHSA report, titled Sustainability and the Cleaning Industry helps. It answers to three important and wide ranging questions: 

  1. What are the major carbon-reduction initiatives and changes taking place in the industry? 
  2. What types of initiative or approach should be specified in tenders? 
  3. What should buyers be aware of or avoid and how do they identify greenwashing claims?  

The major carbon-reduction Initiatives 

The key philosophy underpinning the approach here is the is the move towards the circular economy of ‘re-use, re-manufacture, repair, recycle’, and away from the linear approach of ‘take, make, use, throw’. Making this transition requires systemic change that optimizes material and energy streams to support the best environmental performance. Achieving this change requires significant investment and a clear commitment at every level of the business. 

Manufacturers committed to environmental sustainability will design-in recyclability at the end of the product’s life cycle. Care will also be taken in the materials used in the manufacturing process. Adhering to the adage that less is more for product and packaging, sustainable manufactures aim to minimize the use of materials. However, there is often a balance between the use of re-cycled and fresh raw materials as the efficacy of the product and packaging and the overall environmental impact needs to considered. For example, manufacturing a soft tissue product with re-cycled fibre may produce an inferior quality and a lot of waste during production. 

The two big areas of focus for transport and distribution are the vehicles themselves and delivery efficiency. Investment in expensive electric vehicles may be the attention-catching headline but the cumulative return on improving delivery efficiency can be significant. Investing in route planning software to reduce transport miles and working with customers to help them accept large, less frequent and less urgent deliveries is valuable. 

In relation to corporate environmental impact, many manufacturing processes are energy intensive. Adopting renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power and investing in technologies and processes that improve energy efficiency offer an alternative. 

Initiatives to specify in tenders 

To identify the most sustainable solution, buyers need to develop a consistent approach for responsible supplier assessment. The first step is to require a sustainability strategy, which includes a life cycle assessment of carbon emissions, quantified and measured independently where possible. To evaluate the strategy, our advice is that buyers ask for information on the resources their potential suppliers are committing to sustainability. It will indicate their seriousness. Seeking independent certifications is also important. For example FSC or PEFC address responsible forestry, sustainable sourcing and chain of custody. EcoVardis, CDP and Sedex are tools that monitor your supply chain’s sustainability. Finally, it’s important to instigate quality assurance checks post award of the tender. They should include site visits and relevant audits. 

Identify and avoid greenwashing claims 

To avoid being caught out by greenwashing claims, buyers need to be informed. This means knowing about and understanding legislative developments. It also means understanding the truth of terms like ‘biodegradeable’, ‘compostable’, ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘natural’. Buyers must also consider the whole lifecycle and instead of taking product and service sustainability claims at face value, buyers need to challenge them, asking for evidence. In particular, beware absolute claims. It is impossible to have, for example, zero environmental impact or be 100% sustainable and no plastic sack is made from 100% recycled material. Greenwashing claims also often focus on one aspect of the product’s lifecycle while ignoring others such as transport, disposal or the use of hazardous materials.  

Lorcan Mekitarian is chair of the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association

The full report as well as more information and resources are available on the CHSA website: https://chsa.co.uk/roadmap-to-sustainability/

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Advice for buyers from the CHSA 07/03/2024

THE CLEANING & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) will share its expertise with buyers and end users of cleaning and hygiene products, advising them on how to avoid being caught out by exaggerated, vague and false marketing and product claims.

The Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) will share its expertise with buyers and end users of cleaning and hygiene products, advising them on how to avoid being caught out by exaggerated, vague and false marketing and product claims. The Association is hosting a panel debate at the Manchester Cleaning Show on Wednesday 13 March, at 12.30pm.

The CHSA will also be joining the British Cleaning Council (BCC) on Stand Number A5. Visitors will be able to find out about the CHSA’s six Accreditation Schemes and its rigorous Code of Practice. Together they maintain standards in the industry and guarantee “what’s on the box is what’s in the box."

Explaining the panel debate, chair of the CHSA, Lorcan Mekitarian, said: “During the pandemic, when demand was high and urgent, many opportunists made all sorts of product claims they could not substantiate. Today, with uncertainty across the globe putting pressure on our international supply chains, this problem is growing. Typical claims include long-term residual effects of cleaning chemicals, undefined claims of biodegradability,  sacks being 100% recycled plastic, and chemical-free products. Our members understand the challenge and are coming together to advise buyers on how to navigate the complexities and make sure they get what they pay for.”

The panel will be chaired by the CHSA chair, Lorcan Mekitarian (Sales Director of Berry bpi). It will comprise:

  • Jo Gilliard, CEO of Jangro
  • Nicky Biggart, Sales Manager UK and Europe Professional Hygiene for Evans Vanodine
  • Martyn Higgins, Sales and Innovation Manager of Imperial Polythene
  • Stephen Harrison, Managing Director of Harrison Wipes.

The Panel members will begin by outlining the typical challenges buyers may face in their sector. They will then take questions from the audience, offering their insight and expertise to help buyers make sure they do not fall foul of exaggerated, vague or false product claims.

The CHSA operates six Accreditation Schemes:

  • For manufacturers of soft tissue
  • For manufacturers of plastic sacks
  • For manufactures of cotton mops
  • For manufacturers of cleaning chemicals
  • For general manufacturers
  • For distributors of cleaning and hygiene products

The Independent Inspector audits members every year, ensuring high levels of compliance with the standards specified in the Accreditation Schemes. 

Every CHSA member has also signed the CHSA’s rigorous Code of Practice, which requires them to “maintain a high standard in the conduct of its business”. This year we expanded it to include the Competition & Markets Authority’s Green Claims Code, which requires companies to:

  • Be truthful and accurate.
  • Be clear and unambiguous.
  • Not omit or hide important information.
  • Only make fair and meaningful comparisons.
  • Consider the full life cycle of the product.
  • Be substantiated.

The combination of our Code of Practice and Accreditation Scheme membership means every member:

  • Trades ethically and sustainably;
  • Provides supporting information for claims made;
  • Provides quality, fit for purpose products; and
  • Makes sure what’s on the box is what’s in the box.

‘Our Standards. Your Guarantee.’

@CHSACleaning

www.CHSA.co.uk

Stand A5
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CHSA Bursary Launched 28/02/2024

THE CLEANING & Hygiene Suppliers Association has launched its 2024 search for the successful applicants of its Undergraduate Bursary. Four talented young people will each receive £6000 during their university career.

The Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association has launched its 2024 search for the successful applicants of its Undergraduate Bursary. Four talented young people will each receive £6,000 during their university career. 

Since it was first awarded in 2016 in its current form, 21 young people have benefitted from the financial support offered by the Bursary. It has made it possible for them to engage fully in their university careers, paying for books and study materials, field trips and club memberships. It has also provided the freedom to enjoy the full range of social opportunities.

David Garcia, Vice President of the CHSA and the driving force behind the bursary explained: “The bursary can make a huge difference to students’ experiences of university. Their resources are often limited, and we are proud to be able to help, giving them the additional money they need to make the very most of the wonderful opportunities offered by university.

“I am very much looking forward to meeting the 2024 cohort of talented applicants but not the difficult process of selecting the final four!”

The £6,000 Bursary is paid in three installments, £2,000 paid at the start of each academic year or for the first three years if the degree is four years or longer. 

The CHSA Undergraduate Bursary is open only to the children of employees of CHSA members. Applicants must be 18 years or over on 1 September 2024 and commencing their higher education studies this autumn.  They will be assessed according to need, worthiness, endeavour and overall performance. Each successful applicant will also bring something unique, their ‘x-factor’.

Applying is simple.  Eligible young people need to visit the CHSA website and click on the link on the Bursary page.  The form includes a 400-word statement. It is advisable to draft the statement prior to accessing the form. 

The closing date for applications is Friday 28 June 2024. Shortlisted applicants need to be available to meet the judging panel, to be led by CHSA Vice President David Garcia, in July 2024. The successful applicants will be notified by the end of August 2024.

www.chsa.co.uk

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Valid product performance claims or something meaningless? 15/03/2024

Lorcan Mekitarian highlights the increasing issue of unverified product claims in the cleaning industry, driven by challenges in international supply chains and the emphasis on sustainable solutions due to climate change.

DURING THE height of the pandemic, when demand was high and urgent, many opportunists made all sorts of product claims they could not substantiate. Today, the problem is on the increase, a trend being driven by two over-arching factors, the pressure on international supply chains and climate change. 

Uncertainty across the globe is putting pressure on international supply chains, driving up costs for everyone. Buyers looking for the cheapest option that does the job are at risk of being seduced by unscrupulous providers making all sorts of performance claims for low-cost products.

Our members are reporting more and more spurious product claims, asking for the products involved to be audited to get the evidence buyers need to be avoid being caught out by these unscrupulous traders. Typical of the claims we are seeing concerns the long-term residual effects of cleaning chemicals. Without the supporting evidence on the environmental conditions within which this applies, the claim is misleading at worst and meaningless at best. Plastic sacks are often promoted as manufactured from 100% recycled plastic. Does the supporting evidence exist and is it available?

The second factor is climate change and the clear and present need for sustainable solutions. This year we have had unseasonably high temperatures. According to the Copernicus Climate Change Service, January was the warmest on record. We have been deluged since the beginning of the year with storm after storm blowing across the UK. Manufacturers and distributors in our sector are working hard to deliver environmentally sustainable solutions. However, discerning valid environmental claims from the greenwashing of the opportunists is not easy. 

All sorts of products are promoted as eco- or environmentally friendly. This may imply the product is organic or natural, but organic is a poorly defined term. Does it mean the product has been certified by the Soil Association, derived from a living organism or based on carbon chemistry? Natural implies the product exists within or is produced by nature and so is more sustainable. This is not automatically true. Sourcing the natural substance may have a very high carbon footprint. Products are frequently said to be chemical-free, suggesting non-toxicity or plant-based. However, everything is made of chemicals, so it is completely meaningless. 

Furthermore, do these claims apply to the product, the packaging or the processes of manufacturer and distribution? A great deal is often implied but without any substantiation. 

Differentiating product information you can trust from irrelevant, meaningless and misleading claims is not easy. Our advice is simple. Be cautious. 

  • Be sceptical. If a claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Ask for supporting evidence. Reputable companies will be willing and able to provide data sheets, reports, certificates or other evidence to support the claims.
  • Buy from a reputable supplier with a track record. 
  • Specify CHSA Accreditation. Our standards, your guarantee.

Every CHSA member has signed the CHSA’s rigorous Code of Practice, which incorporates the Competition and Markets Authority’s Green Claims Code. It requires them to “maintain a high standard in the conduct of its business”.

The CHSA operates six Accreditation Schemes, the integrity of which are guaranteed by independent inspection. The Schemes are for manufacturers of soft tissue, plastic sacks, cotton mops and cleaning chemicals, for general manufacturers and for distributors of cleaning and hygiene products.

The combination of our Code of Practice and Accreditation Scheme membership means every member:

  • Trades ethically and sustainably
  • Provides supporting information for claims made
  • Provides quality, fit for purpose products
  • Makes sure what’s on the box is what’s in the box.

​Lorcan Mekitarian is chair of the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association.

For more information visit www.CHSA.co.uk

Tel: 0800 243 919

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CHSA members excelled in 2023 16/01/2024

CLEANING & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) members achieved high levels of compliance to the relevant Accreditation Scheme standard in 2023. The exceptional compliance offers buyers and users of cleaning and hygiene products the guarantee they need: ‘what’s on the box is what’s in the box’.

“We offer buyers of cleaning and hygiene products an important guarantee,” explained Lorcan Mekitarian, Chair of the CHSA. “They can trust our logo. It means the label accurately reflects the content and the product is as specified. 

“Every member has also signed our code of practice, which contains the Competition and Markets Authority’s Green Claims Code. This means if you buy from a CHSA member you can be certain there will be no greenwashing. 

“The integrity of our logo is attractive to the unscrupulous. We are aware some falsely claim CHSA Accreditation. We challenge this everywhere we see it but our advice to buyers who are uncertain about the legitimacy of the manufacturer’s or distributor’s claim, is to check our website. It carries a full list of members. If they are not listed on our website, they are not Accredited by the CHSA.”

The CHSA operates six Accreditation Schemes. They are for manufacturers of paper-based products, plastic-based products, cotton-based products, and cleaning chemicals, for general manufacturers and for distributors of cleaning and hygiene products. Across all six Accreditation Schemes the Independent Inspector conducted more than 142 individual audits in 2023. 

His audits of manufacturing members involved checking 1,848 labels, 559 product lines and 4,280 individual products. Members of the Accreditation Scheme for manufacturers of cotton mops achieved 98% compliance, members of the Scheme for manufacturers of plastic sacks achieved 92% and members of the soft tissue Accreditation Scheme achieved 94% compliance. All members of the Scheme for manufacturers of cleaning chemicals maintained full compliance. 

The audits of distributor members involved reviewing 46,325 product lines. CHSA Accredited Distributors must source products from CHSA Accredited manufacturers or, if from alternative manufacturers the product must conform to the relevant CHSA Accreditation Scheme. The product lines reviewed included the sampling of 62 non-accredited products. The Inspector established 58% of suppliers to CHSA Accredited Distributors were CHSA Accredited Manufacturers, supplying approximately 80% of all products stocked. Furthermore, 99.8% of all products stocked met CHSA standards.

The Independent Inspector audits members twice a year where possible. He checks the labels contain the required information and that the product is as stated on the label. Depending on the product, this involves checking the sheet count, width, duty, weight and or performance of the product. He also assesses the member’s quality assurance procedures. For distributors he confirms if product is from a CHSA Accredited Manufacturer and where it is not, that it conforms to the specification of the relevant scheme. 

Every CHSA member has signed the CHSA’s rigorous Code of Practice. It requires them to “maintain a high standard in the conduct of its business”.

The CHSA has integrated the Competition & Markets Authority’s Green Claims Code into its Code of Practice. It requires environmental claims to be truthful and accurate, clear and unambiguous, consider the full life cycle of the product or service, be substantiated and must not hide important or relevant information. Also, comparisons must be fair and meaningful. 

The combination of the Code of Practice and Accreditation Scheme membership means every member:

·       Trades ethically and sustainably;

·       Provides quality, fit for purpose products; and

·       Makes sure what’s on the box is what’s in the box.

Committed to the integrity of the Schemes, the CHSA’s governing Council will expel any Scheme member who, despite being offered the guidance required to correct issues, consistently fails to conform to the relevant Scheme Standard.

@CHSACleaning

For more information visit www.CHSA.co.uk

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CHSA seeking new independent inspector 16/01/2024

THE CLEANING & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) is seeking a new Independent Inspector.

The Inspector is crucial to the CHSA, guaranteeing the integrity of the Association’s highly respected Accreditation Schemes. 

The new appointee will be an experienced quality assurance professional who wants to work with the CHSA to maintain standards in the cleaning & hygiene sector. They will be a self-employed individual or work within a relevant consultancy. 

Lorcan Mekitarian explained: “We are seeking a new Independent Inspector to continue the excellent work of our current Inspector, Martin Yates, who after many years of valuable service, has chosen to leave the CHSA. Martin has been instrumental in increasing the rigour of the Accreditation Schemes; we are grateful for his contribution and wish him the very best for the future. 

“Martin is leaving the CHSA at the end of 2024, providing plenty of time to help settle the new Inspector into the role.” 

Interested applicants, or anyone able to recommend someone with the relevant qualifications, can contact Lorraine Francis secretary@chsa.co.uk

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Sustainability - Your questions answered at CHSA webinars 25/10/2023

THE CLEANING & Hygiene Suppliers Association’s (CHSA) is hosting two webinars on 13 and 15 November to answer common questions on how to address the complex challenge of achieving sustainability.

Companies in the cleaning and hygiene sector are working hard to achieve the ambition of a circular economy, but in a highly competitive industry with tight margins it is not easy. 

Life cycle assessments are crucial tools, but the inaccessibility of data from up and down the supply chain can make conducting these assessments incredibly difficult. Extended Producer Responsibility represents a significant additional cost, but the Government's continually shifting position on this and other regulations makes it difficult to plan ahead. 

Companies’ questions will be answered by a panel of experts at the CHSA’s webinars: ‘Sustainability – Your Questions Answered, Parts I and II’. The answers will be practical and rooted in the reality of working within the cleaning & hygiene sector. 

Part I will relate to the first three of the pillars in the CHSA’s Roadmap to Sustainability: Product, Packaging and Distribution. Part II will relate to the final two pillars: Social Values and Corporate Environmental Impact.

The panel comprises: Lydia Brant, Essity; Anna Edwards, Bunzl; Vikki Morris, Evans Vanodine; Maija Pohjakallio, Metsa Group. 

In ‘BBC Question Time’ style, the CHSA is seeking companies’ questions in advance. Whatever the question, whether complex or straightforward, email it to pr@chsa.co.uk now. Submit as many questions as you have. 

Sustainability – You Questions Answered, Part I

Date: Monday 13 November

Time: 1pm

Sustainability – You Questions Answered, Part II

Date: Wednesday 15 November

Time: 9am

@CHSACleaning

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CHSA Donates £10,000 to Grief Encounter 26/10/2023

THE CLEANING & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) is donating £10,000 to its nominated charity, Grief Encounter.

The donation includes the funds raised at the CHSA’s 2023 Gala Ball. 

Grief Encounter supports bereaved children and their families to help alleviate the pain caused by the death of someone close.  The donation will contribute to four families attending the Grief Encounter Residential Camp over a weekend, meeting other bereaved families, allowing them to feel less isolated, but also having new, fun experiences, together as a family. 

Caroline Shaikh of Grief Encounter explained: “With this help we can continue to walk beside every bereaved child and young person that comes to us in their darkest moments to make sure that their harm is not hidden, their experience not unnoticed and their grief not the end of their story.”

Lorcan Mekitarian, chair of the CHSA said: “This donation is thanks to the generosity of our members who have consistently supported our fund-raising activities, most notably at our annual Gala Ball. We are incredibly proud, that with their support, we are able to give something back in this way.”

The 2023 Gala Ball was made possible by the sponsors: Greyland, Metsa Tissue, Nationwide Hygiene Group and Polaris. Raffle prizes were donated by Berry bpi, Cromwell Polythene, DJB Supplies, Evans Vanodine, Harison Wipes, Jangro, Lucart, Metsa Tissue, Nationwide Hygiene Group, Northwood, Polaris Polyco Healthline and SC Johnson Professional. Prizes were also donated by Grief Encounter, Chesford Grange and Guest & Co. 

Founded in 2003, Grief Encounter is one of the leading children’s bereavement charities providing free, professional bereavement support to children, young people and their families in England and Wales. Its vision is a world where no child grieves alone and its mission is to help bereaved children, young people and their families to find hope and healing.

Grief Encounter’s next residential takes place in October 2023. A team of staff and fully qualified and accredited bereavement counsellors will facilitate the camp, with children taking part in therapeutic workshops and physical activities over the course of the weekend. Therapeutic activity could include discussing hopes and fears, sitting around a campfire to share grief stories, listening to folk stories about sharing feelings, or creating memory boxes. Physical activities could include challenge courses, hiking or trapeze climbing.

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