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Environmentally friendly pupils from Wisbech St Mary Academy receive litter picking tools to help with their work

Keen to keep their school grounds litter-free, head teacher Jaynie Lynch and the pupils of Wisbech St Mary Academy started an after school litter picking club.

Many of these pupils were also attending the Street Pride Community Litter Picks with their parents.

The Wisbech St Mary Street Pride Group were impressed with how eager all the children were to keep the village clean and wanted to make sure they had all new equipment to help them with their litter picking.

Wisbech St Mary school pupils can now continue their work to keep the village tidy thanks to a donation of new equipment. (20740984)
Wisbech St Mary school pupils can now continue their work to keep the village tidy thanks to a donation of new equipment. (20740984)

The group approached Fenland District Council and with assistance from grant funding, was able to provide the school with 20 Street Pride hi-vis vests, 20 “Graptor” children’s litter pickers and 20 sets of gloves, along with bag hoops and rubbish bags.

Ms Lynch said: “We are so thankful for the generous donation of the resources from WSM Street Pride to support our ever-growing environmental club at our school, the Environment Savers. We started this club last year, as a group of six determined young people and one headteacher – we managed to find four litter pickers around the school that worked ‘well enough’ and took turns sharing them between us during our litter pick sessions each week.

"Since then, our club has grown exponentially and we now have over nearly 20 members (still sharing four litter pickers). The donation of the resources from WSM Street Pride means that not only will every child be able to fully participate, but our club becomes sustainable in the future. I remember the first time our club did a litter pick, we collected two and a half bags of litter – just from our school site. Since then, they have led the way in our school in improving this. They create posters, lead assemblies to educate their peers, and meet regularly to plan their next steps.

"At our last litter pick session, we found less than five pieces of litter on our entire site and have now moved our sessions into the village to help the effort to keep our community clean.

"Our club exists because of a few determined young people had a great idea and love of their community. Our club is able to thrive and grow because of the support we get from our community, such as the donations this week from WSM Street Pride.”

Determined to keep Wisbech St Mary clean and tidy, district Councillor Sarah Bligh started the ball rolling earlier in the year, by setting up a Fenland District Council Street Pride Group for the village. With the support and assistance of Wisbech St Mary Parish Councillors David Wheeler, Mark Knight and John Humphrey and fellow district Councillor Gavin Booth, the group has gone from strength to strength and recently won the “Best Clean Up” award at the annual FDC Celebration evening.

Chairman, Coun Bligh said: “It was always my vision to have all community groups of Wisbech St Mary working together for the betterment of the village. Starting Wisbech St Mary Street Pride was a proud moment for me, and we will continue to work with the parish council, school, pre-school and community centre to fulfil that.

"Being able to provide the school with the equipment to keep the children involved in keeping the village clean was a pleasure. As a group, we strongly believe there’s more to Street Pride than just litter picking, with education and teamwork playing a key part in helping to ensure that future generations take pride in their community.”

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