2028. Cat Hyde
Cat Hyde, from Leeds, has helped to save over 4.2 million litres of paint from landfill since 2001 thanks to her paint recycling scheme ‘Seagulls’.
After discovering the environmental harm caused by improperly disposed paint, she co-founded the project to collect leftover paint from households across Leeds, and remix this for sale at discounted prices to support disadvantaged families. The social enterprise has since continued to grow in strength, operating one large store in Leeds and expanding to run community art workshops across the city as well as training programmes in decorating skills for care leavers and ex-offenders. The project has also created over 500 volunteer opportunities through their ‘We Grow People’ programme, which has been developed using their own experience as volunteers as well as those that have worked with the scheme over the years. ‘Seagulls’ work with people to help build them up and break down barriers before they are employment ready and also predominantly employ previous volunteers.
In a personal letter to Cat, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“You and your team have helped people learn how to paint and decorate, and created new pieces of art for playgrounds, community gardens, subways, and urban spaces in Leeds.
“It is a staggering and brilliant tribute to the environmental impact of your work that you have diverted the equivalent of 50,000 household baths of paint away from landfill.”
“It’s always an honour to be recognised for the work we and our team do at Seagulls. Over 20 years we have established and grown Seagulls to be a leading social enterprise in paint reuse, having diverted over 4 million litres of unwanted paint away from landfill. We are most proud of our volunteer program We Grow People and social justice has always been at the core of Seagulls.”
See more about ‘Seagulls Reuse.’