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CHANNEL 4’s survival show 'The Island' proved controversial during the fi fth series with a Rich v. Poorer contestants theme.

The Bear Grylls series saw a team – whose real-life salaries were over £100,000 – pitted against a team of people whose salary were at the UK’s median household income (£21,000).

The lower wage earners featuring none other than scrap metal recycler Mercedes Pidgley, 27, who works as a Weighbridge Manager for Walton-on-Thames-based Total Metal Recycling.

After the show she chatted about her experiences, both physically and mentally, within a gruelling series which was described as a ‘War of the Classes.'

She said: “The experience was extremely hard as I went 12 days without any substantial food, and also had two days without water.

Basic survival skills

“We learnt basic survival skills such as tying knots, making fi res from scratch, and sourcing food, but we did struggle to catch any fi sh after trying for hours – so we ended up eating limpets and hermit crabs, which have next-to-zero meat on them!”

But Mercedes revealed it wasn’t all doom and gloom when she was outside her natural habitat, which usually sees her surrounded by clanging metal.

She found a real knack for carving fi shing equipment by using a machete. Mercedes also found a moment of solace sleeping under the stunning night sky of the archipelago of Las Perlas - the series fi lming location - which lies about 30 miles off the coast of Panama.

Mercedes added: “For my job, I deal with people from all over the country, who are higher class, middle, or lower. So I applied that

CLASS DIVIDE - The 'poorer' group featuring Mercedes (middle left)

skill during my time on the island, which came in very handy to deal with the judgemental attitude, which was common because of the show’s theme of ‘rich versus poor’.

“Because I work in a scrap yard, people think I’m very ‘rough and ready’, because most of the time – I have to be.

But I can adapt the way I am to fi t the person I am talking to, which is an important social skill that not many people have - especially when speaking to well-spoken customers.”

Life after The Island has been interesting for social chameleon Mercedes, who has since been contacted for on-island scoops by national newspapers.

She has also kept in contact with newfound friend Barnes Thomas, an art dealer from Penzance, and former member of the wealthier group from the show.

Gillett make great gesture to the community with defibrillator for Lytham public use

AROUND 60,000 people suff er an out-of- hospital cardiac arrest every year in the UK – only 1 in 10 will survive. Lytham-based Gillett Environmental Ltd have 30 on-site members of staff and deal with hundreds of daily visitors.

So when Managing Director, Joe Gillett evaluated the on-site fi rst aid, he realised that having no access to an Automated External Defi brillator (AED) would decrease the chances of survival for anyone suff ering a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).

Own on-site AED

Joe said: “In Spring 2017, we decided to invest in our own on-site AED and work with the North West Ambulance Service.

“After our collaboration, we now have our device registered as a Public Access Defi brillator (PAD), which means any member of the public can also use our


device 24/7 – all someone needs to do is dial 999 and the ambulance service will give them the code to open the secure cabinet.

“In addition, we have recently donated an AED to our local town, Lytham. When looking for our nearest PAD, we noticed the very busiest part of our town did not have one.

“We feel this is a great way of giving something back to Lytham and we guarantee it will save someone’s life in the coming years!”

Gillett Environmental Ltd and Lytham St Annes Skip Hire want to help raise public awareness of SCAs through the company’s Start a Heart with the Gillett Campaign, to encourage more companies in the waste management sector nationally to invest in these invaluable pieces of equipment so that communties can benefi t.

SHWM July, 2018 5

@SkipHireMag 0161 482 6220

Mercedes bends her approach for TV fame on Bear Grylls show

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