Our group of willing volunteers met for tea and coffee at The Vincent Hotel on Lord Street, Southport to await the arrival of The Mayor and Mayoress of Sefton. We were very keen to meet The Mayor as we had read about his interest in waste, recycling and its effect on the environment, but we were simply blown away by his knowledge of the subject and also his willingness to really get involved in our event.
There had been a last minute change of venue for our litter pick, and we selected the bandstand area in front of The Vincent, as this is such a focal point on Lord Street – which describes itself as a “Classic Resort” with a tree-lined boulevard and many historic buildings and Victorian verandas.
But as you can see this was heaven-sent in the end as it allowed both The Mayor and The Mayoress a very much “hands-on” involvement with the campaign and this really helped to inspire the young volunteers from Southport Sea Cadets, who had come along with a team from the local Asda store led on their Big Litter Pick by their Community Champion, Sharon Gregory-Wareing – who was an absolute star getting everyone organised on the day!!!
We were so pleased to see so many young people getting involved in this event and their hard work and commitment to keeping their town free of litter was to be applauded.
We also had assistance from Councillor Sue McGuire and her team of volunteers from “Rubbish Friends” who have recently formed in Southport with the aim of helping to clean up local grot spots.
The whole occasion was a real community effort starting off with The Vincent Hotel who hosted the Mayoral Reception and provided the teas and coffees and even provided the volunteers with healthy packed lunches. The Duty Manager Moira and her Reception and catering team kept the teas and coffees flowing and also assisted in the disposal of the litter collected afterwards.
The Printquarter in Southport also helped to publicise the event by providing us with a banner and our heartfelt thanks go to Russell McLean the Centre Manager for his assistance. Russell even gave up his time to come along and get involved. He said that he found it “invigorating to see a dynamic mix of people coupled with local business giving up their Saturday morning……………..getting hands on with an issue like that gives you an enormouse sense of satisfaction and it just goes to show that we can all make a difference”.
Likewise thanks are also due to Southport College for the loan of equipment that was vital for the cleanup operation. It felt really great to be surrounded by such a cross section of our local community and it showed that there ARE people out there who care about the environment and understand how important it is that we all come together to make a difference.
We now need to build on this GREAT occasion and move onwards and upwards to take our message into schools so that our young people can truly appreciate that It Just Takes Two!