Protect your Travelling Employees with Vismo Satellite Devices

GPS tracking devices have proven to be an essential piece of equipment for those travelling around the world where standard mobile devices are simply not suitable. Organisations have a Duty of Care towards their employees to ensure their safety, and should continually extend diligence when employees travel to potential/known high-risk areas. It is in these areas where tracking devices become really essential.

Global Tracking Specialist, Vismo, provides peace of mind and reassurance to those travelling around the world, often in areas where there is no GSM mobile coverage. Vismo provides trackers that are all fully integrated into the Vismo Secure Portal, allowing for the monitoring of users travelling globally. The trackers also provide live location updates and location history reports with notifications for panic alerts, country change and geo-fence alerts.

Iridium Extreme

iridium-9575-rentalThe reliable nature of the Iridium Extreme works across the 100% global Iridium network and has up to 30 hours standby and 4 hours of talk time.  The Iridium Extreme is built with military grade toughness in a small durable structure to guarantee communications and monitoring in the toughest conditions. The Iridium Extreme has incorporated SMS, email messaging and dialling capabilities as well as a specialist panic button. Upon activation of the panic alert, an alert is sent to the Vismo Secure Portal for monitoring capabilities.




The RockSTAR two-way messenger works far beyond the reach of WiFi and GSM networks using the truly global Iridium Satellite network. The handheld unit is waterproof, light weight, ruggedised and designed to withstand the most challenging of environments, with a long battery life of 3 weeks set to 30 minuet fixes. Send two-way messaging using SMS and email formats, as well as raising the panic alert using the specialist button.

Garmin inReach Mini

garmin mini

The small, but powerful rugged lightweight satellite tracker is the perfect solution for travelling where size and weight matter. The palm sized devices work using the 100% Global Iridium coverage, which reports locations and alerts to the portal.



To find out more about Vismo tracking devices, please contact or call us on +44 (0) 1904 616666 (UK and RoW) or +1 866 815 9128 (USA).

Vismo used by Leading UCL Research Team at Remote Volcanoes

Leading UCL lecturer, Dr Emma Liu, and her research team, take Vismo to Earth’s most remote volcanoes for essential monitoring and constant tracking. 

Read about Dr Liu’s trip below:

Satellite communication from Vismo supports research team working at some of the most remote volcanoes on Earth

Mobile communication solutions are an essential part of any expedition planning, particularly for those teams or individuals heading to remote places. “As research takes scientists to ever more extreme environments, satellite-based solutions have revolutionised the support available to help them keep in contact” says Vismo, the global tracking solution company.

Gemma (3)

In January 2020, Dr Emma Liu, a Lecturer in Volcanology at the University College London, set sail on a five week ocean expedition to the South Sandwich Islands. Together with Dr Kieran Wood from the University of Bristol, their aim was to measure and sample the volcanic gases being emitted from this remote and unexplored chain of volcanoes in the Southern Ocean.

“We knew that at our furthest point we would be more than eight hundred miles from the nearest civilisation. Our closest neighbours were on the international space station! In such a situation, it is a great reassurance to have the ability to contact a support network in the event of an emergency” says Emma. “This is why we contacted Vismo”.

clarke rocksIn addition to volcanological research, the multi-disciplinary expedition team aboard the Pelagic Australis sailing yacht included penguin ecologists, glaciologists, a whale biologist, an expedition medic and a media team. “The South Sandwich Islands have only been visited by a handful of scientists, and fewer still have attempted to land ashore. We were a strong team, with lots of experience on board, so this was a unique opportunity for inter-disciplinary science”, says Emma.


“During the expedition, I was working with Dr Tom Hart, University of Oxford, to explore the impact of volcanic activity on one of the largest known penguin colonies on Earth. A population census in 2012, prior to a large eruption in 2016, indicated several tens of thousands of Chinstrap and Adelie penguins on Saunders Island. We were interested to discover the impact of this eruption on the health of the colony, and how they have responded to persistent toxic volcanic gas emissions since.” Emma adds. “I was also fascinated to find out about t

he chemical composition of the volcanic gases being emitted into the atmosphere, and to assess the emission rate of major gases such as carbon dioxide”.

Emma had been supported by Vismo on a previous expedition to Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano, Tanzania (with PhD student Kate Laxton, also from UCL; read more here), where satellite communication had proved invaluable. Emma explains “We were able to seek medical advice from emergency services in the UK that set our mind at rest when one of the team fell ill. We also used Vismo’s continuous tracking facility, which updated our location every 20 minutes and could be viewed by our support team back at UCL. Given the success of communications during this expedition to Africa, my first port of call when I knew I was headed to somewhere even more remote was Vismo”.

Emma adds, “Vismo advisors suggested the Iridium Extreme satellite phone for my communication needs. The hardware support I received from Vismo was second to none. They set up all the hardware and arranged the call plan leaving me free to concentrate on preparing the scientific equipment”.

Satellite comms offer a flexible solution for field research

In addition to emergency comms, Emma and her team found satellite communication to be essential on a day to day basis. “We would land ashore each morning and hike far up the volcano to make our measurements. Although equipped with VHF radios to contact the sailing vessel and other teams ashore, the mountainous terrain meant we would often go out of line of sight making radio contact difficult. In this situation, the satellite phone provided by Vismo allowed us to check in from wherever we were, and to provide logistical updates to the team when needed. I never left the boat with my satellite phone” says Emma.saunders glacier trek

Later in the expedition, when weather conditions caused plans to change, the research team used satellite communication to contact the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands to request last minute changes to their research permits, which were granted. Emma explains, “These last minute alterations to our permits allowed us to collect additional samples that would otherwise not have been possible. In the field you need to be very flexible and ready to change plans in response to the weather. Satellite communications gave us that flexibility we needed”.

Would Emma look to satellite communications for her future expeditions? “Absolutely.” she says, “Fortunately, we did not have to use the emergency capabilities of the Iridium Extreme satellite phone. However, the simple reassurance of a quick call home, or a check-in message to the UCL support team, is not to be underestimated. When you are eight hundred miles away from help, satellite communications provide a lifeline to help you to feel connected”.


To find out more about Vismo, or to arrange a trial, please contact or call us on +44 (0) 1904 616666 (UK and RoW) or +1 866 815 9128 (USA).

Protect Individuals Travelling to Japan with Vismo

Returning to Japan for the first time since 1964, the countdown is on until Tokyo hosts the biggest sporting event in the world. Global tracking specialist Vismo is set to provide organisations and travellers with essential monitoring and tracking capabilities. With the eyes of the world on Tokyo, focus must be placed on security for the large-scale event.

Before travelling abroad, travellers should conduct research in order to understand any potential cultural differences, as well as any possible risks in the target destination. Japan is one of the safest countries in the world. Yet with natural disasters making the headlines, should travellers and attendees be cautious of their safety? In wake of recent natural disasters event organisers are taking extra precautions to ensure travellers feel safe at the Games. According to media reporting, attendees can feel reassured in the knowledge that all venues have been constructed so  they are seismic resistant and comply with strict Japanese building regulations. Venues also have specialist evacuation plans as an added precaution should natural tremors occur. Attendees’ safety is the primary concern for event organisers, who have even resulted in fail-safe testing their venues through controlled simulated earthquake testing.

While Japan is pulling out all the stops to safeguard attendees and provide ease of mind, Vismo advises travellers to extend further diligence to their own individual safety.


Secure Portal – Example incident in Japan.

How can Individuals/ Organisations Protect Themselves?

Vismo enables organisations to protect and monitor individuals travelling globally with the Global Traveller App. Using GPS and other technologies, Vismo reports a traveller’s location to the Vismo Secure Portal for live location monitoring. Vismo ensures that travellers can be located quickly and effectively in a crisis situation when precious time may be critical.


Recently, Vismo has launched an enhanced version of its successful long-standing Portal and App with increased user functionality and new innovative features. These include: Incident Management and Mass Notifications that enables organisations to effectively manage a crisis situation, while automatically notifying users in affected locations and giving appropriate advice.

The Global Traveller App

Safeguard users visiting Japan and receive notifications with live location updates, geo-fencing to define high risk areas and panic alerts. The new updated Global Traveller App allows organisations to personalise the interface suiting individual travellers, while making it the perfect tool for integrating Vismo into any organisation.

Local Japanese SIM

Vismo sister company, Cellhire, a leading global telecommunications provider, offers businesses and travellers with cost-effective local Japanese SIM cards. With network partnerships with Japanese networks NTT Docomo and SoftBank, Cellhire offers unrivalled mobile connectivity throughout Japan, allowing attendees to seamlessly connect, browse, like and share their experiences.


To discuss short-term licences from Vismo for Japan please contact or call us on +44 (0) 1904 616666 (UK and RoW) or +1 866 815 9128 (USA).

Vismo makes charitable donation to both Unicef and Mango Tree Home, Haiti

Global tracking specialist Vismo, has made a charitable donation to Unicef and Mango Tree Home, Haiti.

Rather than sending Christmas cards and corporate gifts to customers, Vismo made the decision to make two donations. Firstly, to support Unicef’s relief efforts in Liberia, to help feed a child’s future. Secondly, to support Mango Tree Home Haiti, to protect orphans and abandoned children.


The children of Liberia should have big dreams and bright futures. There should be no limit to what they can achieve. Sadly, thousands of children don’t have the chance to reach their full potential. Thousands will never grow up at all. It doesn’t have to be like this. If children receive the right nutrition at the start of their lives, then there is no limit to what they can become. With support, Unicef is working towards putting an end to malnutrition.

Unicef is working around the clock to treat children suffering from malnutrition and tackling the root causes of malnutrition, to prevent more children from becoming malnourished. As well as delivering life-saving food for vulnerable children, Unicef is also supporting long-term, sustainable nutrition programmes for mothers and babies and working with the Government of Liberia on an ambitious, nationwide programme to prevent malnutrition for all children under five.

Mango Tree Home

January 12, 2010, a devastating earthquake hit Haiti. A local nurse named Genevievre found herself caring for 6000 terrified people in the emergency camp at the Dadadou Sports Field in Port Au Prince. Her care was unconditional, her efforts almost super-human and she soon found herself in-charge of 74 children who had lost their parents.

Set up in the immediate aftermath of the disaster by Bob Craft, International Security Advisor for a large American NGO, The Mango Tree Home is a safe family environment for orphans and abandoned children. It has provided solace and support to almost 100 children and is now a permanent family home for 37 children.

Why Unicef?

Established in 1946, Unicef has been protecting and promoting children’s rights for 70 years.

Unicef is the leading organisation working for children. They ensure more of the world’s children are vaccinated, educated and protected than any other organisation, and have done more to influence laws and policies to help protect children than anyone else.

To read more about Unicef’s aid work for children in danger, please go to

Why Mango Tree Home?

Established in 2010, Mango Tree Home, Haiti has been providing a safe family environment for orphans and abandoned children for almost 10 years.

Mango Tree Home is now at maximum capacity and help is needed to feed, clothe, educate and keep children together in their family home – a comfort that gives these abandoned and bereft children a secure life and immense solace.

To read more about Mango Tree Home, please go to


Individuals can make donations online.
Mango Tree Home

About Vismo

Established in York, UK in 2012, Vismo Ltd. is a Patented and ASIS Accolade Award-Winning Global Tracking Solution designed to locate individuals around the world using an application installed on their smartphone, tablet, personal GPS trackers, satellite trackers or satellite phones. With active users in over 190 countries; Vismo is a proven and scalable Global Tracking Solution that organisations are increasingly turning to as a method of ensuring their employees stay safe.

Vismo is used by many FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies, NGO agencies and a growing number of SMEs and organisations in the public sector, as a duty of care towards their employees. In line with the continuation of global demand for Vismo’s strategic tracking solutions, Vismo has expanded to the US to better serve its expanding client base in both the US and further globally.

Vismo maintains ISO 9001 Quality Management Certification and ISO 27001 Information Security Management Certification.

Introducing Vismo. New and improved; the future of personal safety.

Global macMulti award-winning global tracking company Vismo has launched an enhanced version of its successful Secure Tracking Portal and Mobile Tracking Application. Utilising state-of-the-art tracking technology and the latest security software, the all new platform aims to increase user functionality and everyday use. The additional functionality further demonstrates the commitment the company has to consistently improve location accuracy and security of user data.

The new Secure Portal introduces intuitive search capabilities of travellers’ locations including Points of Interest, Geo-Fences and landmarks from a single search bar. All features have been redesigned to improve security and further enhance user experience.

In addition to the new Secure Portal, Vismo has launched an updated and improved version of its long-standing user tracking application Global Traveller to provide users with a more consistent, unified and cohesive Vismo platform.

Enhanced Vismo Platform

Global Traveller App
The new Global Traveller App allows clients to personalise the interface to specific requirements and introduce their company branding directly through the Vismo Portal. The interface is fully customisable with colour choices, icons, and performance options. This makes it the perfect tool for integrating into organisations to achieve maximum end-user acceptance.

Lone Worker App

Expanding its tracking solutions into wider markets, Vismo has developed a Lone Worker solution that integrates into the Secure Portal. This effectively and securely assists identified lone workers, helping to eliminate the risks of working alone without constant communication. The powerful new solution provides detailed insights into yellow alert timed check-ins, assignments and location history, as well as other features specifically designed to keep users safe.

The Secure Portal


incidentoccurringVismo has created dashboards that allow administrators to customise what is viewed on the map. Dashboards can be configured to show a particular user, groups of users, incidents, locations and map types. Dashboards ensure administrators can quickly access the relevant users, locations and information to monitor their employees, saving vital time in an emergency situation.

Incident Management

Integrating live incident feeds into the Vismo platform ensures users within an affected area are automatically identified and notified via mass notifications. Within the Global Traveller App, users can respond to notifications with their relevant safety status, which is sent to the Secure Portal for operations teams to take action. Incident Management ensures customers can manage and aid travellers effectively in a crisis situation.

iPhone-2Encrypted Messaging

Vismo has incorporated encrypted messaging within the Secure Portal and App. This enables administration teams to securely communicate globally with individuals and groups.

Active Alerts

It is crucial that an alert from a traveller is acknowledged and acted upon quickly and effectively as a quick response translates into lives saved. The ability to acknowledge an active alert within the Secure Portal informs other administrators that the alert is being dealt with, reducing any overlap or missed alerts.

Points of Interest (POI)

A ‘Point of Interest’ can be added to a location on the maps dashboard to help administrators gain a deeper understanding of a traveller’s location should an emergency arise.

About Vismo

Established in York, UK, in 2012, Vismo is a patented and multi award-winning global tracking solution designed to locate individuals around the world using an application installed on their smartphone, tablet, personal GPS trackers or satellite devices. With active users in more than 190 countries, the Vismo Global Traveller App is a proven and scalable global tracking solution that organisations use as a method of ensuring their employees stay safe.

Vismo is used by many FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies, NGO agencies and a growing number of SMEs and organisations in the public sector, to meet their duty of care obligations to protect their employees.

The company maintains ISO 9001 Quality Management Certification and ISO 27001 Information Security Management Certification.

To find out more about the latest version of Vismo, including to request a demo, or to transition to the newest version of Vismo, please contact or call us on +44 (0) 1904 616666 (UK and RoW) or +1 866 815 9128 (USA).

Vismo Reaches New Heights at Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano, Tanzania

Award-winning global tracking company Vismo, reached new heights in Tanzania, proving pivotal to PhD student Kate Laxton from UCL who travelled to the country to complete a research project on the Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano.

Aware she would be out of her usual terrestrial network coverage for over a month, Kate took the Iridium Extreme Satellite Tracker from Vismo. Taking full advantage of the Vismo solution, Kate was tracked and monitored for her entire trip and communicated with UCL mainly via text message upon the satellite device. As the only satellite network with 100% global coverage, the Iridium Extreme Satellite Tracker ensured Kate would stay connected and relay any important information to the team at UCL in London.

The Iridium Extreme Satellite Tracker is fully integrated into the Vismo platform allowing users to benefit from the range of features within Vismo including panic alerts and geo-fencing.

Kate 1

Ol Doinyo Lengai is the world’s only remaining active carbonatite volcano, and Kate’s expedition was to research and understand how it formed, why it is still active and what caused it’s magma to be so unique as the coldest lavas on earth at less than 600 degrees C. Twelve years had passed since the last sample was collected and only 2 weeks after the sample was taken, the volcano unexpectedly exploded. Taking precautionary measures, and not wanting to get caught up in any physical danger unable to communicate with anyone was the reason Kate knew she needed a satellite device upon the trip.

Whilst there, Kate was supported by Dr. Emma Liu (UCL), Mr. Arno Van Zyl (Vertica Ltd) and local guides, as well as the Geological Survey of Tanzania (GST) and the University of Dar Es Salaam, to take much needed samples of the rare natrocarbonatite lava from the Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano.

The group collected six freshly erupted natrocarbonatite samples, six MultiGAs traverses, two MultiGAS dips, three nights of thermal imaging, three drone-bases DEMs and eight tephra samples.

After Kate become concerningly ill during the first ascent of the Ol Doinyo Lengai, the Iridium Extreme Satellite Tracker really came into its own. It was the critical tool which allowed her and the team to connect with emergency medical services in the UK, saving the need for a medical evacuation.

Kate said about her trip:

We selected Vismo because of its track record over many years in providing mobile comms for individuals and organisations around the world, some of them in the most demanding situations, from mountains in the Himalayas to remote rivers in South America. Those comms include Vismo’s technical expertise and server hardware, which together enabled the precise tracking of our location for use by our security team, and two-way communication with UCL.

For the most part, we ended up using the satellite phone to update UCL via text message and perhaps more importantly for morale, occasionally snatching a moment to call home. Although, after becoming concerningly ill and deteriorating rapidly during the first ascent of Ol Doinyo Lengai, I was truly grateful to have a phone powerful enough to connect me through to emergency medical services in the UK, which saved me opting for a medical evacuation as my last resort.

When we arrived at the summit, we were fortunate to find that the activity on the crater floor consisted of lava flows, an open lava pool and one spatter cone, giving us ample opportunity to proceed with our sampling strategy.

By the end, we had spent eight days and nine nights at the summit, giving us enough time to collect six freshly erupted natrocarbonatite samples, six MultiGAS traverses, two MultiGAS dips, three nights of thermal imaging, three drone-based DEMs [digital elevation models] and eight tephra samples, all the while smashing our targets with a whole load of brilliant teamwork.

Read the full article here.

To find out more about Vismo, or to arrange a trial, please contact or call us on +44 (0) 1904 616666 (UK and RoW) or +1 866 815 9128 (USA).

Vismo Joins Suzy Lamplugh Trust on Lone Worker Directory

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust was set up in 1986 to honour Suzy Lamplugh, a 25-year-old estate agent who disappeared that year. Although never being found, the Trust exists to ensure the disappearance of Suzy does not happen to anyone else, with the vision of a society in which people are safer, and feel safer, from violence and aggression.

To achieve its mission, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust aims to reduce the risk of violence and aggression through campaigning, education and support. As featured in the Suzy Lamplugh Lone worker directory, the Vismo Lone Worker App turns any smartphone or tablet into a tracking device with a panic button and video streaming capabilities, enabling lone workers to have two-way communication with colleagues or security teams.

Read the full article featured in the directory below.

“According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), between 2017 and 2018 there were an estimated 694,000 incidents of violence at work, where 54% of work-place violence offenders were strangers.suzy_lamplugh_trust_logo.png Among the 46% of incidents where the offender was known, they were most likely to be clients, or a member of the public known through work. Vismo recognises the risks faced by Lone Workers and has developed a Lone Worker App; a fully integrated solution for all mobile platforms.

The Lone Worker App turns a smartphone or tablet into a tracking device with a panic button and video streaming capabilities. This enables lone workers to have two-way communication with colleagues or security teams.

The App features timed check-ins which can be set if a lone worker enters a potentially high-risk meeting or dangerous area. If the safety timer runs out, an alert is automatically sent to administrators of the Vismo Portal. Workers can continue uninterrupted as the App runs in the background of the device, while also using minimal battery.

Vismo is used by many FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies, NGO agencies and numerous remote and lone workers in the UK and globally. The App can be easily deployed into a large range of industries such as healthcare, housing and out-of-hours contractors.

In line with the continuation of global demand for lone worker protection, Vismo continually innovates and deploys the latest technology to enhance its solutions and better serve its increasing lone worker global client base.”

Vismo to Exhibit at the Global Security Exchange (GSX) in Chicago

Vismo will be attending the annual Global Security Exchange (GSX) exhibition, formerly the ASIS International Annual Seminar, for the eighth consecutive year in 2019. The exhibition is one of the world’s largest and most influential events within the security industry. This year, GSX will be hosted in Chicago, from the 8th to the 12th September 2019, and is expected to attract more than 22,000 attendees from over 100 countries.

What’s new for 2019?

Vismo is committed to constantly improving user security, and over the past year, has integrated the latest technology to provide enhancements to products and user experience.  The development of the Vismo Lone Worker application effectively and securely assists lone workers by helping to eliminate the risks of working alone and without constant communication.

The Vismo Lone Worker app encompasses a panic button, which when enabled, sends an instant alert to administration teams, notifying them of a user’s location. Vismo also makes workforce management easier, due to the timed check-in and check-out function. Definitions of check-ins can be tailored to individual employees or job roles by iStock-472866476.jpgadministrators. Employees can choose the relevant action, along with an optional time frame to complete the task at hand. This information is sent to the secure Vismo Portal confirming the user’s location and relevant check-in action. Should the time frame expire, or not been deactivated, an alert is automatically sent to the administration teams. This allows administration team to monitor and aid employees, if required, ensuing the safety of lone workers within their workforce.

ASIS Accolade Security Best Winner 2016 and 2017

In previous years, Vismo has achieved great success at the ASIS International Security Conference & Exhibition after winning the Security’s Best Award for two years running in 2016 and 2017. The award acknowledges and celebrates the industry’s most innovative new technologies, products, services and solutions.

In 2016 the VismoAlert achieved the award, due to the covert nature of the panic button. Fundamental to a user’s safety in a crisis situation, users can press the button on their device, or, if there is no time to unlock their device, the button can be worn on the wrist, belt and as a pendant. The Bluetooth technology connects the Vismo-Alert to a user’s smartphone in order to send a panic alert with a GPS location remotely to the secure Portal. This informs security teams of the event, allowing for a faster, more covert and safer response.

Following the success in 2016, Vismo won the ASIS Accolade Award in 2017, with VismoStream. VismoStream enables users to send immediate encrypted transmissions of live video and audio from their smartphone to the secure Vismo Portal. This ensures the administration teams can evaluate the nature of the situation in order to respond accordingly.

If you are attending GSX 2019, come and visit the Vismo team at booth #1761, to explore the latest technological advances and trial Vismo for yourself.


For more information on Vismo or any enquiries, please contact or contact us on +44 (0) 1904 616666 (UK and RoW) or +1 866 815 9128 (USA).

The Chicago Tribune uses Vismo to discover the best way to get to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Multi award-winning, global tracking specialist Vismo proved instrumental in tracking reporters for The Chicago Tribune.

For more than a decade, Chicago politicians have talked about a faster way to get between downtown and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Armed with tracking technology from Vismo (,The Chicago Tribune sent reporters by car, ride-share, CTA and Metra to find out.

Colin Dale, VP Business Development at Vismo says “We are delighted that Vismo was selected to provide The Chicago Tribune with location tracking data for this article. Vismo tracking technology played an important role in ensuring an accurate comparison could be achieved, tracking all modes of transport.”

The winner was an Uber ride-share that took 69 minutes, followed by the CTA at 80 minutes, a private car (parked at an economy lot) at 90 minutes and Metra at 98 minutes.

In the U.S.? Read the full Chicago Tribune article here:

About Vismo

Established in York, UK, in 2012, Vismo is a patented and multi award-winning global tracking solution designed to locate individuals around the world using an application installed on their smartphone, tablet, personal GPS trackers or satellite devices. With active users in more than 190 countries, the Vismo App is a proven and scalable global tracking solution that organisations are using as a method of ensuring their employees stay safe.

Vismo is used by many FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies, NGO agencies and a growing number of SMEs and organisations in the public sector, to meet their duty of care obligations to protect their employees.

The company maintains ISO 9001 Quality Management Certification and ISO 27001 Information Security Management Certification.

To find out more about Vismo or the integration with The Chicago Tribune, visit:, email: or call: +44 1904 616666 (UK and RoW) or +1 866 815 9128 (US).


Vismo helps “Kik” plastic waste with Kiko Matthews

Each year 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the world’s oceans, harming the environment, the wildlife and the planet. Making up 50% of this number is single-beach rubbishuse plastics, such as water bottles, shopping bags and plastic straws.

The use of single-use plastic is increasingly becoming a global concern due to its inability to be properly recycled. Most often, the material cannot biodegrade in nature, and instead takes hundreds of years to break up and turns into a toxic microplastic. Microplastics leave behind chemicals and toxic particles that are harmful to the environment, oceans and wildlife.

Kiko’s Story

As concern over single-use plastic, and its impact grows, many are trying to reduce their plastic use and look for alternative materials that are easier to recycle and have less harm on the environment. To help increase awareness of single-use plastic, British adventurer and Women’s World Record holder for fastest women’s’ solo row across the Atlantic, Kiko Matthews, set up the ‘Kik-Plastic’ project to encourage communities to join in to make a positive change when using and disposing of plastics.

Setting a goal to clean 79 of the beaches around the coast of the United Kingdom, Kiko set off on a twelve-week long tour cycling around the coasts, beginning in the south of England. Creating Facebook events for each beach clean, Kiko encouraged volunteers from local communities, businesses and schools into the Kik-Plastic project and has collectively cleared 3. 45 tonnes of waste from UK beaches.

The Kik-Plastic project kicked off on the 5th May 2019 at Margate beach in Kent, England, and over the past three months, Kiko cycled over 6,800km around the UK coastline working with local volunteers to clean beaches. From Kent, Kiko cycled around the south coast of England to Lands’ End cleaning Sennen beach.

colin and kikoShe then continued all the way up the west coast through Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland before reaching John O’Groats and heading back down the east coast.

On the 17th July, Kiko was joined by Colin Dale, VP of Business Development at Vismo, at Headland Beach in Hartlepool, where he participated in the beach clean and supported Kiko in raising awareness of single-use plastics. After working around the clock with over 1900 volunteers, Kiko went on to complete her tour of the UK at the London beach clean on the 28th July.

Combining my love for challenges with my love for the environment, I wanted to help raise awareness across the UK by cycling and completing local beach cleans with local communities.” Says Kiko Matthews.

KikoI wanted this challenge to include everyone and anyone, whether a cyclist, a local business or school or just a beach lover. My focus for this project was not to be the fastest, but to raise awareness of the problem of single-use plastic and engage communities to help tackle it and hopefully go home to change their lifestyle and reduce their single-use plastic use.

Many of the items that were collected, included plastic bottles and lids, abandoned fishing ropes, plastic straws, plastic cotton buds and crisp packets. Most worryingly, most of these items were unchanged from when they were thrown away, further demonstrating the years it take to decompose and leave harmful toxins on the planet for years to come.

Kiko’s journey around the UK has been tracked by Vismo. Using the smartphone application; location fixes of Kiko’s journey were automatically sent to the secure Vismo Portal allowing for real-time tracking of her journey. Working with ZeroSixZero, Kiko’s history trail has been mapped, while including the locations of each beach clean ensuring everyone can interact and get involved with her journey.

Kiko Map

Read the BBC’s coverage of Kiko’s journey here.