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Community pride shines through as residents come together for big clean up

The community came together for the Big Kirkley Clean Up. Picture: Matthew Grafton.

The community came together for the Big Kirkley Clean Up. Picture: Matthew Grafton.

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Community pride was shining through in Kirkley as more than 50 residents joined in the Big Clean Up and Litter Pick Competition.

The Big Kirkley Clean Up. Picture: Clare Stachan. The Big Kirkley Clean Up. Picture: Clare Stachan.

Held on Friday, April 6, the day was organised by the Kirkley People’s Forum, which was set up as part of the Local Conversation in Kirkley.

The Local Conversation is a resident-led project, which involves supporting local people to develop a shared vision for their community and take local action on issues that matter to them.

As part of the project, residents decided on three priorities to focus on – improving the physical environment, life skills and wellbeing, and running a community chest grant scheme.

Second place in the litter pick competition, Talent Match. Picture: Matthew Grafton. Second place in the litter pick competition, Talent Match. Picture: Matthew Grafton.

Litter and dumped rubbish is an issue that has come up a lot for residents so in the lead up to the day, they got together to walk around and identify fly-tipping hotspot areas.

Three days before the event, residents dropped leaflets through 700 letterboxes in Kirkley, advertising the availability of skips for them to dispose of their items.

Through the project, Kirkley People’s Forum supplied two skips including one free, courtesy of VC Cooke. Two further skips where provided by anonymous donors.

Winners of the litter pick competition, 1st Pakefield Scouts. Picture: Clare Stachan. Winners of the litter pick competition, 1st Pakefield Scouts. Picture: Clare Stachan.

As well as four skips being filled, 1.5 tonnes of scrap metal was collected and nearly 50 cars dropped items off.

The items collected included sofas, mattresses, fish tanks, computers, chairs and tables, bikes, pushchairs, cookers, trolleys and washing machines.

Clare Strachan, a resident and member of the Kirkley People’s Forum, said: “It was amazing to see the community pulling together and a real community spirit shone through. This was a great way to engage the community and talk to residents who you might not otherwise.”

The community came together for the Big Kirkley Clean Up. Picture: Matthew Grafton. The community came together for the Big Kirkley Clean Up. Picture: Matthew Grafton.

Matthew Grafton, the community development worker, added: “There was a great sense of community spirit and pride as we worked together to make our neighbourhood even better.

“We hope this is the start of getting more community events organised and encourage any residents who want to get involved to do so.”

A collection service was also in place which proved popular with community members that didn’t have access to their own transport.

The Big Kirkley Clean Up. Picture: Matthew Grafton. The Big Kirkley Clean Up. Picture: Matthew Grafton.

A community litter pick competition ran alongside the clean up, with the 1st Pakefield Scouts and a team from Talent Match taking part.

For more information about becoming a member of the Kirkley People’s Forum, email kirkleyforum@aol.com

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