More than a hundred passionate volunteers gathered last night in celebration of their tireless efforts to keep Bristol clean and green.
The event was a big ‘Thank You’ to all the unsung heroes who volunteer across the city to help keep the streets clean, pavements clear, walls free of graffiti and bring colour and vibrancy to our communities.
Ten special ‘Thank Yous’ were presented by Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees to individuals and groups nominated in recognition of their contribution to the Bristol Clean Streets Campaign.
Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said: “It’s fantastic to see how the Bristol Clean Streets campaign has brought together communities and individuals who give their time and dedication to make our city a cleaner, nicer place for us all to live in. I was honoured to show our appreciation on behalf of Bristol to these inspiring volunteers. They, and all the others who take time to help clean our city are champions of Bristol.”
The ten nominees were given a specially designed Clean Streets token made by local artist Becky Prior from resin and recycled wood, and every attendee was presented with a wooden Clean Streets Hero badge.
Event host Jason Eldridge, Operational Director at Bristol Waste Company, said: “The room was packed with inspiring Bristolians, from litter pickers to neighbourhood champions and community gardeners, showing the remarkable breadth of the volunteer community in our city. The evening was an opportunity for us to give well deserved thanks to all our Clean Streets heroes and recognise the impact their work has in the community.”
Speakers included Russ Leith of Friends of Castle Park, Dawn Aldred of The Whitchuch Womblers and Ben Barker from Bettering Bedminster.
Regular litter pickers Sam Massen and Di Baker both said they felt inspired after the event: “I came away inspired and proud to be part of this movement. Hearing the amazing stories of others has given me encouragement for what can often feel like a hopeless situation”, said Sam Massen.
“The talks were inspirational, and it was motivating to realise I’m part of a movement happening all over the city and involving so many different individuals and groups. And of course, it’s very nice to be appreciated in this way by Bristol Waste Company and the Mayor.”, said Di Baker.
Special Thank You’s went to:
Clean Up Bristol Harbour, with James Kemble from Bristol Harbour Authority
Passionate about the beauty of our waterway, Clean Up Bristol Harbour run monthly events to clear up litter and have inspired a large group of dedicated volunteers to come onboard.
Friends of Brislington Brook
Established nearly 10 years ago, this group of dedicated BS4 residents give their free time to look after the green spaces in their area, namely Nightingale Valley and St Anne’s Woods. They meet monthly to clean and protect the precious green spaces.
Sustainable Westbury on Trym
SUS-WOT are group of local people who seek new ways to create a happier, healthier, more sustainable and closer-knit community. As well as tackling overgrown pathways, they run a monthly litter pick and now have more than 20 regular volunteers.
The BCR community partnership – Bishopston, Cotham & Redland group
Working in and around Bishopston, Ashley Down, Cotham and Redland, the group encourage community spirit and contribute positively to the quality of life in their area. They work hard to make the streets clear and accessible for everyone, working with residents and reporting where things can be improved.
Steve cares passionately about waste and litter in Easton. He works tirelessly to make the street scene better in his neighbourhood and raise awareness of his concerns, holding us all to account to be the best we can be.
Donna Sealey from Ambition Lawrence Weston
A lifelong resident of the area, Donna officially joined Ambition Lawrence Weston in January 2018, having supported and helped establish the group back in 2012. Come rain or shine they can be seen litter picking the streets and just this month they were behind Lawrence Weston winning a Britain in Bloom Outstanding Award.
All the volunteers for the Malago Greenway Berry Maze, with a special thanks to Raluca Mackett
Inspired by a local school child, nine-year-old Harry Ward, the Maze was created in 2017 through the hard work of dedicated volunteers and the support of local businesses. It is now a wonderful green space where anyone can come and experience, or even forage, for some of the 250 delicious berry plants growing there.
Dawn Aldred from Whitchurch Womblers
Passionate about cleaning up the planet, Dawn started The Whitchurch Womblers just 18 months ago and has already inspired an army of nearly 400 South Bristol volunteers to get litter picking.
St George in Bloom – led by Grenville Johnson
Staying true to their mission of horticultural excellence, community participation and environmental responsibility, St George in Bloom have brought colour to the area through gardening. To say they have been successful could be an understatement, bringing home three Royal Horticultural Society Gold Pennant Awards.
It is rare to see the passion, commitment and dedication from an individual that we see from Zac Jones in keeping Bristol clean and tidy. Always willing to give up his time, there is rarely a litter-picking event he’s not taking part in!