Sunday, 29 September 2019

CLEANUP IN MAYOW PARK

This article was written by Daniella Levene  from CleanUp UK who gave permission for us to post it.
Megan & Paulette
The community event  was organised by Paulette and Megan  at Lewisham Plus  http://plus-services.org/  and supported by Daniella.    

Megan with Lewisham councillors
Most of us litter pick because we are concerned about the environment, but group litter picks have so many benefits aside from the environmental one and you don’t even have to litter pick to take part! You could help sign people in, sort equipment, bake a cake, chat to passers-by, organise, design a poster, make some tea, or just walk around for company because you care and want to be sociable. Last Saturday’s pick in Mayow Park (14th September) was a great example of how meaningful they can be.
The PLUS pickers had their first successful pick in the summer in Folkstone Gardens and were keen for more. As Rob Agrawal, Head of Service at PLUS said, Litter picking is such a rewarding thing to do as everybody is able to participate to some extent and the results are obvious and immediate’.
One participant, Megan, enjoyed it so much and wanted to organise one closer to home. With help from her fabulous support worker Paulette, we met Alona, Chair of the Friends of Mayow Park, who was happy to support but at first wasn’t sure if the park needed a clean. Mayow Park on first appearances is very clean and it is well looked after; it has a park keeper (Ainsley) twice a week, an active Friends’ group, and is clearly loved by its many users.

However, like most well used parks, when you start to really look you will see the gleam of plastic, perhaps a bit of straw wrapper taken by the wind, or a plastic bottle deliberately chucked in a bush (out of sight, out of mind), or the thousands of cigarettes (it is estimated that 4.5 trillion cigarettes butts are littered each year), which most smokers aren’t even aware are harmful.

 After our walkabout to check out Mayow Park and see what we could do a date was set. Megan and Paulette contacted their friends, put up posters and with some support from me and Glendale everything was in place for the day, with fingers crossed for sunny skies. Thankfully the weather delivered, and it was beautiful day!

These young people arrived in the park and wanted to help Daniella 
In all 29 people took part, including three wonderful young pickers, as their guardian Jill stated, They walk through the park on the way to and from school and come every weekend, so it was good to see them having fun while helping the environment and the park they love.”


We were also joined by councillors Susan Wise, John Paschoud and Jacq Paschoud and,from NDTi, Madeline Cooper-Ueki who inspired PLUS to get involved after hearing her talk about social inclusivity, as she surmised about the day, “Communities and friendships are built when we come together to do things that matter in our neighbourhoods. All too often people with learning disabilities are seen as recipients of help from those around them. Megan’s role in making this park cleanup such a success captures how the opposite is the case. Communities benefit most when everyone is included!”
Cllr John Paschoud with young helpers
A total of 10 bags of rubbish was cleared, not the biggest haul but that's not really the point. Every piece collected is one less harming our environment and wildlife AND OF EQUAL IMPORTANCE, those involved are a little bit more connected.
Young helper knows where to find litter

Young helper picks up litter


The PLUS pickers are keen to get involved in more community litter picks. If you'd like to join them or organise one, please get in touch.

LINKS TO WEBSITES OF PARTICIPATING ORGANISATIONS
CleanupUK:   cleanupuk.org.uk  
                       https://www.facebook.com/TheBeautifulBoroughsProject/
               twitter.com/Cleanup_UK
                      instagram.com/cleanup_uk

Lewisham Plus http://plus-services.org/
Rob Agrawal (Head of Service) PLUS (Providence LINC United Services)
6 Belmont Hill, Lewisham, London, SE13 5BD
 
NDTi https://www.ndti.org.uk  

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