- Give every UK vehicle wash facility the opportunity of being supported to full wash compliance.
- Stop modern slavery in the UK by 2025.
- Stop the damage to the environment, caused by the unlawful use and disposal of dangerous and damaging chemicals.
- Remove as many opportunities as possible for organised crime to proliferate.
We are petitioning the Home Secretary to use the WashMark Accreditation Programme as a template for mandatory licencing for all car wash sites
One vehicle wash industry safe and fair for all.
We think you should care about unregulated car washing because...
The are 26,900 hand, mobile and contract valeting washes across the UK, and our research shows that 90% of them have significant issues with Modern Slavery, Environmental Damage, Health and Safety and tax evasion, which we think is a disgrace, because this is the UK and we are better than that!
It costs £Billions every year to deal with the issues of unregulated vehicle washing and it is impossible to quantify the cost to the estimated 150,000 people that work within the industry and the Environment.
Organised crime in the UK is estimated to be worth a staggering £37 Billion and Lynn Owens, the Director General of the National Crime Agency (NCA) is reported as saying "the current policing model doesn't work and needs to be changed". Our policemen and woman are amazing, but the car wash industry is such an enormous problem that, it can be difficult to know where to start!
The WashMark Accreditation Programme® makes the challenges more palatable by working with vehicle wash sites to bring them to compliance and reduce the size of the issue, allowing a more targeted approach.
The car wash industry looks simple but has such levels of complexity, that in order to support and engage with it, you have to understand what you are looking at. Whilst some Government agencies connect to make a task force, each agency still has other concerns to deal with and so very often the task force is short term.
The Sandu Foundation, a not for profit organisation and its sister company, the Car Wash Advisory Service, work exclusively within the car wash industry, are fully independent of Government and the influence of business, big and small.
On the 19th August 2015 Sandu Laurentiu Sava, a 40-year-old Romanian man who came legally to the UK, died at the car wash where he was exploited and used as forced labour. Sandu was made to live at the rear of the car wash with other workers and when taking a shower, which had previously been tampered with by the car wash owner, Shaip Nimani, he was electrocuted.
In January 2017 Shaip Nimani pleaded guilty to Manslaughter due to gross negligence.
The Sandu Foundation is named as a tribute to Sandu.
We have been working in the car wash industry since 2006 and specifically looking at hand car wash sites since 2011. Initially we used our knowledge to compile a dossiers on a car washes, using open sources and enabling enforcement offices from various Government Agencies, to close 144 UK hand car wash sites from 2012 - 2016, but managed to support many more to compliance.
In 2017 The Sandu Foundation was founded as a not for profit organisation with one purpose, to ensure that the car wash industry became, one industry, safe and fair for all.
In 2018, the Environmental Audit Committee held an investigation into car washing, at which we give evidence. The Committee condemned the “widespread and flagrant rule breaking taking place at hand car washes”.
The WashMark Accreditation Programme® Has undertaken rigorous testing and research to ensure its robustness. Final phase testing started in July 2018 and was completed in January 2019, with the pilot sites being engaged until April 2019. With the first of The WashMark Accreditation Programme® certificates now hot off the press, the next stage of the rollout begins.
The WashMark Accreditation Programme® ensures that every wash site is visited, and all evidence is back checked, and only original documentation is accepted.
The WashMark Accreditation Programme® is ongoing and covers all aspects of running a fully compliant wash center;
- Business Structure
- Health and safety
- Quality and customer service
In addition to working with the wash site owner, we also work directly with the vehicle wash workers to build trust, so that we can support them, should they need it.
The Sandu Foundation, using the WashMark Accreditation Programme® are now working with a number of conscientious landlords and fleet operators to bring their wash sites to full compliance, in addition to a number of vehicle wash sites that have realised that there are changes on the way, and are now stepping forward, but there is still a long way to go.
WashMark Accreditation Programme® Audits a vehicle wash to establish the issues and then supports the vehicle wash for up to 120 days to bring them to compliance. A further Audit is then carried out in order to award to WashMark, from 1 - 5 stars depending on their final score. The Sandu Foundation then continues to work them them to ensure they remain compliant.
"When Stop The Traffick Southampton invited me to make an awareness film about modern slavery in Southampton, I decided to put the spotlight on hand car washes, as so many of them, locally, are staffed by fellow Romanians, new immigrants who don’t know their rights or responsibilities, or where to look for reliable knowledge.
In my search for organisations who do hands on, practical work to prevent and stop this kind of exploitation, the only one in the UK, that I have come across, has been The Sandu Foundation. I was delighted that Dawn Frazer and her deputy, accepted our invitation to Southampton, to work together on the film for www.wemakesouthampton.uk, and explore together the options for launching a city wide programme to ‘clean’ up the car washes in our city.
As a resident, I resent witnessing human exploitation on a daily basis, as I pass by hand car washes most days, which is why I will be offering my support to the Sandu Foundation, set up by the Car Wash Advisory Service, to promote this service and the knowledge that comes with it.
Any ordinary member of the public, that cares about living in a civilised country, can become an active supporter."
Claudia Murg, journalist and documentary filmmaker
Following an invitation to collaborate with Stop the Traffick (The Southampton Branch) and We Make Southampton CIC, (an independent community journalism organisation), The Sandu Foundation has already visited vehicle wash sites in Southampton and has organised a meeting on the 2nd of September 2019. We will be meeting with Councillors, members of Southampton Council and other Government agencies, charitable organisations and concerned citizens to discuss the rollout of the WashMark Accreditation Programme® across Southampton. We will also be discussing how the Programme can be adapted for other industries within the city with the primary focus on making Southampton the first city in the UK to be Modern Slavery free and Environmentally sustainable, with the hope the model can then be adopted by other interested councils.
We estimate that using the proposed Southampton model, the UK could be Modern Slavery free as soon as 2025, with this achieved sooner if the Government adopted the WashMark Accreditation Programme® as a licensing programme for all wash types.
The primary reason that we have been given for the Government not following the advice of the Environmental Audit Committee and making vehicle wash licensing mandatory is the cost to roll it out.
If the WashMark Accreditation Programme® was rolled out to all vehicle wash sites, the revenue that it would create would be £30,611,400 and the cost to administer the Programme would be £5,100,000. The Sandu Foundation is a not for profit organisation and as such the additional revenue could be used to fund charities working within the Modern Slavery and Environment sectors creating a sustainable vehicle washing sector, at no cost to the Government.
In September 2018, we received a visit from Priti Patel MP, we explained how the WashMark Accreditation Programme® works and she very kindly offered her support. We will be petitioning the Home Secretary to use WashMark Accreditation Programme® as the licencing template for car washes and then, working with other industries, adapting the Programme template to bring compliance to their industries, ensuring organised crime is not longer able to flourish.
Why we need your support
We already have people engaging with car wash owners across the UK, but we need your financial support to:
- Employ - we need to start training additional field agents and research staff.
- Engage - with councils and organisations at events across the UK.
By the time we reach the end of 2020 The Sandu Foundation will have reached full strength with 32 agents, 16 admin, research and 10 accounts, legal and management and will be self funding and can start to give back...But we can't do it without you!
To see our latest report click https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6569118334124720128/