Manchester is at the forefront of the Keep Britain Tidy campaign as it encourages Mancunians to get involved in the Great British Spring Clean.
In the past 12 months, people have relied on the places close to home – from the local park to other neighbourhood areas – as somewhere to escape to, to exercise and play.
Manchester City Council has pledged its support for Keep Britain Tidy’s annual campaign and is encouraging all residents to get involved and clear up the litter that can blight places as part of its Great British Spring Clean.
The campaign, which runs from 28 May – 13 June 2021, calls on the public to pledge to clean-up and help the charity achieve a million miles of litter-picking.
For the campaign, residents are being encouraged to use #mcrspringclean on social media to show their litter picking progress.
In Manchester, plenty of litter picking groups blossomed over the last year or so. Wythenshawe Waste Warriors now proudly boast over 2.5k members in their Facebook group.
Longsight and Levenshulme litter pickers have grown their group from a handful of people, by engaging in a 30 day lockdown challenge to collectively gather 100 bags of litter, to a group with nearly 450 members.
New groups like Castlefield Clean and Green, Moss Side Eco Squad, and Gorton Litter Pickers which all started during lockdown now have more than 1,000 members between them.
Another group of litter pickers, comprised of Hong Kong nationals, who have come to Manchester on the UK Government Settlement Scheme have taken it upon themselves to start getting directly involved in the communities they now find themselves in.
Andrea Chow, speaking on behalf of the Hong Kong Volunteer group, said: “For many of us that have recently moved to the UK we have wanted to give back to the area we are now proud to call home.
“Between us we considered different volunteering options until we realised that the quickest, and most direct way to make a difference was to begin litter picking.
“The number of attendees has grown, seeing as we only started a few months ago we are proud of the fact that between the 20 or 30 so people that come and volunteer, we are able to gather up to 50 bags of litter per trip. It has been brilliant fun and provided many of us with the chance to meet new people”.
Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said: “This event is a brilliant example of how community action on a national scale can deliver huge benefits.
“Not only does it reduce the amount of litter in our precious green spaces but the togetherness and being outside all working towards a common goal is a brilliant way to uplift your spirits following a difficult year.
“For anyone contemplating getting involved I would say there is no reason why not. Get involved and do as much or as little as you want, it all counts.”
Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “The Great British Spring Clean would not be possible without the support of local authorities, including Manchester City Council.
“We have all spent a lot more time in our local area in the past year and have come to realise just how important our local park or green space is for our mental and physical health.
“We need to care for these spaces and the Great British Spring Clean is an opportunity for everyone to take a small action that, collectively, can make a big difference.
“Whether you commit to do five minutes or five hours, every single pledge will help us reach our million-mile target and clear many tonnes of litter pollution from our environment.
Pledge to get involved today at www.keepbritaintidy.org/gbspringclean
Or to get involved at specific locally organised litter picks see the dates below:
Friday 28th May - Miles Platting, Vickers Street - look out for us on the green opposite Duo plastics
Tuesday 1st June - New Islington - find us by canal side on Redhill Street/Great Ancoats Street
Wednesday 2nd June - Platt Fields - find us by the lakeside centre
Thursday 3rd June - Cheetham Hill - find us in Goldstone Gardens
Friday 4th June - Ardwick Green - in partnership with veteran's charity Walking with the Wounded
Saturday 5th June - Hulme Park
Tuesday 8th June - Wythenshawe - Kirkup Gardens
Wednesday 9th June - Barracks Park
Thursday 10th June - Bradford Park
Friday 11th June - Briscoe Lane, Newton Heath - find us on the corner of Harringay Road
Saturday 12th June - Longsight - find us outside the library