Skip to content
Helen Owen, Varvara Barbieri, Tabetha Crinson, Justin Harley and British Ironworks founder Clive Knowles stand behind a giant blue wire clown fish, holding up crisp packets ready to go into the fish.
Helen Owen, Varvara Barbieri, Tabetha Crinson, Justin Harley and British Ironworks founder Clive Knowles.

A fishy visitor arrived at college before Christmas to raise awareness of plastics entering our environment, especially our oceans.

‘Crispin’ the Clown Fish was delivered from Oswestry’s British Ironwork Centre by chairman and founder Clive Knowles to be greeted by members of the College’s Student Union Board.

The aim is to fill Crispin up with empty crisp packets to be made into survival blankets for people experiencing homelessness.

The fish, which holds around 10,000 crisp packets, will be at the college until the end of January. The packets will then be made into waterproof blankets. Members of the British Ironworks Centre team will be visiting College again to show students at the specialist further education college how to make the survival blankets.

Derwen College is a further education college for young adults with a variety of special educational needs and disabilities.

British Ironworks founder, Clive Knowles, dropped Crispin the fish off at College where he was welcomed by Student Union Board members Varvara Barbieri and Justin Harley, as well as Personal Development  and Wellbeing Coordinator Tabetha Crinson and Personal Development and Wellbeing Manager Helen Owen.

Clive Knowles said: “We’re keen to raise awareness of plastic in the environment, and the importance of reusing and recycling. We want to show students how to make their own recycled blankets from crisp packets. The blankets help to keep people who have become homeless dry, ensuring that sleeping bags and bedding don’t become damp and cold. The blankets will be used in this country and some will be sent to Ukraine.”

10,000 crisp packets per fish!

The Ironworks currently have eight fish at various schools and colleges in the region, each of which can hold up to 10,000 crisp packets.

Helen Owen, Derwen College Independence and Personal Development Manager, thanked the Ironworks for their support, and students and families for their commitment to collect packets.

She said: “Earlier in the year, we collected plastic bottle tops for Philup the Giraffe. The initiative was so successful, we filled him with bottle tops in a matter of days. We think this challenge will take longer, but we’ve got until the end of January, so we’ll collect enough crisp packets to fill him up.

“We’re encouraging everyone to recycle their crisp packets, whilst also offering a gentle reminder of the importance of a balanced diet!” We hope that while enjoying their festive snacks, people will consider the serious that packets often end up in landfill or the ocean.”

Back to News