“No one should be going hungry. And we genuinely want to help.”

Over the last year, Hailsham Foodbank has passed on 16,436 kilos of food donated by the public. A typical food parcel contains a minimum of three days of nutritionally balanced, non-perishable, tinned and dried foods. The support from PJ Skips means it can purchase extras like baby food and toiletries, which often don’t fi nd their way into the donation boxes at local supermarkets. It’s particularly welcome during summer months, when free school meals halt for the holidays. “It’s a challenging time for lower income families,” added Harriet. “The foodbank runs a summer holiday meal club to help. “It’s not just about giving fi nancial support. We want to encourage our customers to also give food. “We’ll be giving out little cards that, as well as advising on what they can or can’t put in the skips, will say ‘next time you’re in the supermarket, please could you support Hailsham Food Bank.” While the foodbank support is a new direction, PJ Skips has traditionally made a point of ‘giving back’, said Nick.

“We support local Bonfi re

Associations, the Eastbourne Christmas Tree of Light, sports clubs and many other events in the region.”

Located on the same site since their launch 36 years ago, they are placed on the A22 for easy access around East Sussex. They are also well enough away from any neighbours to work without any risk of complaints. Nick joined in 1999 and took over as MD six years later, initiating a period of controlled growth that saw the firm expand from just mini-skips and a turnover of just over £1m per annum. It’s now a well-rounded waste management business with a strong reputation and a ‘can do’ attitude that filters from the top down. “We realised that if we only did part of the business we’d just be allowing other companies in, so we set about off ering the whole waste service,” he added. “We bought a crusher, a new grader, and expanded the transfer station. All our machinery is fairly modern and that’s expensive.” A diverse range of customers which includes around 500 account customers,

including national names, and a vibrant construction sector in the area means work is ticking along nicely. The only blip – other than the 2010 recession which saw construction work across the land grind to a halt - was a devastating yard fi re in 2016 caused by an electrical fault in a wood chipper machine which Nick recalls as “the most stressful time of my life”. Thankfully no-one was injured, and within three days it was back to business. Two years on, and it’s a family team at the helm – founder Peter has retired. Niece Harriet joined two years ago, yard director Conrad Ellwood is Nick’s stepson, and they are all looking forward to more carefully controlled growth. “We wait for the demand to be proven and sustainable before we invest,” confi rmed Nick. “Natural growth is the way forward, rather than just going out and buying things and expecting it all to happen. “It’s an exciting time for the business. We have recently invested in our yard resurfacing and new offi ces, and our team is growing steadily and sustainably. “But we want the business to continue to thrive - it’s a family business.

“We’ve got an amazing team,” he said. “They’re an integral part of the business, and they can come to me to talk about anything. As a result, staff

want to stay. Meanwhile, the business is looking forward to continuing to make a significant difference to its local community."

Hailsham Foodbank Project Manager, Julie Coates, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with PJ Skips. Their generous sponsorship will help us to provide much needed food and support to struggling families in the area. “Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more people walking through our door and the numbers are increasing at an alarming rate.” @SkipHireMag SHWM September, 2018 13

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