Six years after the first litter picking group was set up in Solihull, busy grandmother Julie Stephens has just become Solihull’s 1,000th registered volunteer litter picker!
Love Solihull – an environmental initiative co-ordinated by Solihull Council – has seen a huge surge in people interested in litter picking since the start of the pandemic. Anyone wanting to do a spot of litter picking can register online with the Love Solihull Community Litter Picking initiative. Once you are registered, you will receive an email from Love Solihull inviting you to collect equipment from your local library.
Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Highways, Cllr Ken Hawkins, said: “I’m really grateful to people like Julie who give up their spare time to help us keep Solihull clean. During the pandemic our parks and open spaces became increasingly important as places to exercise, find peace and reflect. I’m convinced that that is why we’ve seen such a massive increase in residents volunteering to litter pick.
“Before the pandemic Love Solihull were supporting 70 registered volunteer litter pickers. Since the start of the pandemic that has increased to an incredible 1,000 volunteers. They come from all walks of life but what they share is a love for their local area and the determination to look after it. Love Solihull supports each individual and group with equipment, advice and newsletters. It’s a fantastic network of likeminded people, a great way to get fit, make new friends and know that you’re making a difference. So a big thank you to Julie and all of our litter pickers.”
The Chair of Talking Rubbish Chris Dunster added: “It's staggering that Love Solihull is now celebrating the sign up of their 1,000th volunteer. When Talking Rubbish in Solihull first established six years ago, there were a handful of volunteers and now the number is huge! It is so encouraging to walk or drive around Solihull and see the green Love Solihull litter bags next to a public bin or even catch a lesser spotted litter picker in the act! I am delighted and very grateful to know that 1,000 residents feel passionate enough to leave the comfort of their homes to pick up litter - thank you all!”
Anyone wishing to join the 1,000 strong litter picking army should visit the Love Solihull website - https://www.lovesolihull.org/litter-picking Once you’ve registered you can collect free litter picking equipment from your local library.