Ramsgate mayor Raushan Ara set children of Newington Community Primary a community challenge – clear up an eyesore public alleyway that runs beside their school.
Youngsters from the school’s Good Gym Club – which aims to improve fitness while doing good deeds – were only too willing to get cracking on the task to get rid of the rubbish.
Armed with litter-pickers supplied by the mayor, the crew got down to the job in hand and slowly but surely removed the unsightly debris from the footway.
Cllr Ara, who joined in the clear-up, said: “The club is an excellent initiative where pupils are set challenges including litter sweeps and class area tidy ups. They run to the area they are tidying and break it up with exercises like star jumps and running on the spot.
“I met them in the main hall and set their Good Gym challenge. They were so enthusiastic and full of energy. We had lots of fun, and enjoyed getting fit whilst tidying up the problem area. They worked so hard and are a real credit to the community.”
Teacher James Bennett, who is Newington’s lead for PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education), runs the Good Gym Club. He said: “During the last few months the club has been set challenges from teachers and staff around school including litter picking and helping tidy and move communal areas.
“Our children have well and truly embraced the concept of Good Gym here at school – they love exercising and working together to solve the challenges that are set.”
The alleyway clearance was the first challenge outside of school for the team, and Mr Bennett said the mayor inspired the girls and boys. He added: “She spoke about the importance of looking after our environment and encouraged the children to take responsibility.”
In recent years Newington pupils have held several individual and Eco Team litter picks to keep the alley by the boundary clear of rubbish, cans, bottles and overgrowing weeds and brambles.
Head Teacher Hannah Tudor said Good Gym club is an excellent example of how the children at Newington embrace challenges and throw themselves into activities.
She said: “Having fun while getting exercise and helping the community is so positive – and having the Mayor really appreciate their hard work and responsible actions is wonderful recognition for our children.”
“Our children develop a social conscience as they progress through the school. We believe it is important to recognise that we all have a responsibility to sustain the environment and act responsibly when it comes to litter and recycling.
“This is a shining example of our Newington Winners in action – and we are pleased and proud that the Mayor is part of our winning team.”