A dirty rubbish-strewn alleyway in the heart of Newington has been given a spring clean by children from the area’s community primary school.
The Newington Community Primary School Eco Team of boys and girls donned protective gloves and used litter pick grabbers to remove a range of rubbish including cans and bottles from the alley next to the school boundary.
Head Teacher Cliff Stokes said: “It was pretty unpleasant and our parents and pupils remarked that it was not a nice experience walking along the alley with young children having to watch where they stepped, picking their way through the mess.
“So as guardians of our own local environment inside school, the Newington Eco Team stepped outside and tackled the problem in aid of our wider community.
“Cleaning a public alleyway is certainly the responsibility of the local authority but we took it into our hands to improve matters where we can so that it doesn’t remain an unsightly and dirty eyesore right next to our school grounds and buildings which we keep clean, neat and tidy.”
The boys and girls helped by staff set to work and in just over half an hour, five bin bags full of litter had been collected and the alleyway was much clearer.
The Eco Team plan to tackle the alley as part of its regular environmental initiative in school which includes recycling paper, food waste and other materials.
Teacher James Green worked with the Eco Team on cleaning the alley.
He said: “The school Eco Team is part of the school council initiative. It covers all year groups from Year 1 to Year 6. The club started up at the beginning of the year and this was our first alley clean as a group, but I intend for it to be done once a term, so six times in the year.
“We will also be doing other community based litter picks, at the beach and parks, for example. We use the school litter pickers and gloves at the moment, but Thanet Council has kindly gifted us a set of 6 pickers and 6 fluorescent jackets.”
Mr Stokes said:” As a school we are very aware of the need to improve our environment generally and to be responsible for the waste that we generate.
“The response of our Eco Team has been fantastic and is an inspiration for all our pupils to be more eco-friendly.
“Looking after their environment is an important message that we reinforce and that our pupils flag up in their home surroundings too.
“Our children are developing a social responsibility to each other and the environment through the work and awareness of the Eco Team, and it is something that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.
“Respecting each other and respecting where we live and our world in general is just part of our school ethos – and the way we care for our surroundings is part of that vital lesson that Newington embraces.”