Volunteers prepare to roll up their sleeves for Great British Spring Clean

  • Wednesday 6 March 2024

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Thousands of volunteers are expected to spring into action after pledging to pick up litter across Manchester as part of a national campaign to keep their local communities clean.

Keep Britain Tidy have kick-started their annual campaign, The Great British Spring Clean, to encourage residents to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in by helping to tidy up local parks, pathways and other green spaces in their neighbourhoods to make them even better places for everyone to exercise, play and escape to.

Since 2018, the annual community clean-up has been supported by Manchester City Council in partnership with Keep Manchester Tidy (KMT) following a turnout of countless volunteers. Known proudly as “litter heroes,” they pledged to banish lingering litter to the bins for good by aiming to pick up 400,000 bags of waste.

This year’s theme is focused on ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ to encourage even more Mancunians to join the national movement and see for themselves how they are inspiring change for good in their pledge to keeping Manchester tidy by organising their own litter picks in their neighbourhoods.

City-wide there were 155 litter picking events, 1,564 litter pickers were loaned out, 300 litter picking sets were gifted to individuals and families and a hefty 2,500 bags were given to volunteers which were later collected by the council’s partner Biffa in 2023.

The Great British Spring Clean runs from 15 – 31 March.

Find out more for guidance on arranging a litter pick and how to get any rubbish collected.

Councillor Lee-Ann Igbon, Executive Member for Vibrant Neighbourhoods, said: “It is fantastic to see the Great British Spring Clean make a return to our city which has galvanised thousands of people to pour into their neighbourhoods and protect our flourishing green spaces, making them even cleaner and greener.

“Every year, we are reminded of how important the work of volunteers and our partners who pledge to Keep Manchester Tidy truly is and hope to encourage more volunteers this year.  To be outside, working closely with friends and neighbours fosters the rich community spirit that the Great British Spring Clean is known for.”

While many are joining the nation-wide litter-picking for the first time, for some it is only a matter of brushing up from previous years of work.

Dominic Bennett, a loyal member of KMT, is litter picking to raise awareness of Down’s Syndrome for World Down Syndrome Day (21 March).

He has set himself a fundraising goal under ‘Challenge21’ to complete 21 litter pickings and raise £500 in donations for the Down’s Syndrome Society.

Dominic Bennett, a member of KMT, said: “My enthusiasm for litter picking began during the lockdown with my mum’s support first near my home and in local parks. I have made lots of friends and worked with all sorts of interesting people.

“For the Great British Spring Clean this year, I wanted to still help keep Manchester tidy, but also raise awareness of Down’s Syndrome for the Down’s Syndrome Society. They do incredible work in supporting people who live with the condition and breaking down stigma.

“My aim is to raise enough money to give back to people who are in need and for anyone who sponsors my fundraising I will also complete a litter pick in their area.

“If anyone is thinking of getting involved in cleaning up their community, I would say do some litter picking and keep up the good work!”

Volunteers are advised to wear sturdy shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. High vis jackets and gloves can be supplied if requested. 

Join the 2,200 strong community of litter-pickers on Facebook.

Follow and share your pledge to pick with #GBSpringClean2024 and #MCRSpringClean24

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