11th February 2019

The Junior Pickup Artists 2019

We have just been awarded £1000 funding from Aviva community funds to use towards our junior pickup artists project. Our aim is to visit with as many schools and community groups within Wyre forest district area as possible. Working together with your pupils and staff in making a difference to our local community by educating the children on the impact litter has on our environment, nature reserves, waterways and local community areas. We are offering this project as a free extra curriculum resource with a hands-on experience for the children by litter picking themselves. The funding we have received will equip this project meaning that all the equipment needed to run this extra curriculum activity will be provided by The Pickup artists.

We have been involved with community groups such as scouts, beaver, cubs, girl guides and groups with learning difficulties. Each visit has been incredibly successful and we have always been amazed at the children’s response regarding the litter they have collected and also their enthusiasm for picking up the litter. We have visited a few primary schools that has been incredibly rewarding as a volunteer group, watching the school children evolve and learn the impact litter has in their community areas and how they have enjoyed the litter pickup wanting to make a regular activity in their school grounds to keep their school clear of litter.

Our aim is to be targeting this educational activity to as many schools, community groups and colleges as possible. Educating the children of all ages through this project is a must if we want to see an improvement in our environment in the future.

As a volunteer group we go out on a regular basis, clearing our roads, lanes, parks and beauty spots from the scourge of litter. We also meet up when an event is organised, where we do a big litter pick, when the problem needs several helping hands. We post photos of the rubbish we have picked up, and say where we picked it up from, this encourages others to do the same. Out in the fresh air, getting exercise and clearing our towns of rubbish, at the same time. We have lots of thanks when out and about. We have high visibility jackets, hoodies, t-shirts and vest tops all with our logo printed on them, so we are instantly recognised with our bin bags in a hoop and our litters pickers. 

We are all passionate about trying to keep our towns free of litter. We work with WFDC who support us by collecting the bin liners full of litter whenever the bags are too full to go in a street bin. We rely on donations to enable us to buy the litter pickers and hoops for our young litter pickers to borrow. We have recently won funding which will help us a lot. We have done litter picks at local Tesco and Co-op stores, they provide us with a sandwich and drink after we have cleared the car parks and surrounding roads. We also have local restaurants and cafes who support us by offering us discounts on their food and drinks. 

However, we firmly believe that we need to educate young people not to drop litter in the first place. Our recent visit was to St Catherine’s Primary school in Kidderminster, we talked to two classes of year three children, explaining the damage that litter, especially plastic, is doing to our environment. Afterwards with teachers we took the children out to help litter pick the nearby local park, the children themselves noticed that their own playground and sports field had litter, so we cleared that as well.

If your school would like to become ambassadors for The Junior pickup artists scheme please get in contact to arrange a school visit and discuss this project further.

Thanking you all in advance

Karen Blanchfield

Schools co-ordinator