Sunderland youngsters show they care with Roker beach clean

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The youngsters removed over 20 bags of rubbish from Roker Beach.

80 youngsters from Sunderland College collected over 20 bags of rubbish as part of a litter pick at Roker Beach this morning (June 13).

Plastic bottles, broken glass, condoms, toys, metal rings, pieces of carpet and discarded drinks cans were just some of the items removed from the beach.

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It’s a situation which angered travel and tourism student Alfie Stokoe.

Sunderland College students cleaning up Roker BeachSunderland College students cleaning up Roker Beach
Sunderland College students cleaning up Roker Beach | sn

Alfie, 18, said: “I visit the beach a lot and it’s upsetting and annoying seeing the damage people are doing.

“People should take more pride in our beaches as we live on a beautiful coastline.”

Classmate Nino Sales, 17, added: “I picked up lots of plastics including bottles and toys.

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“It’s concerning to see, as plastics can be a big problem for marine life.”

With young people often “wrongly labelled” as being behind littering, the teenagers, who all volunteered to take part, believe it’s important for the community to see them being part of such initiatives.

Sunderland College youngsters removing rubbish from Roker Beach.Sunderland College youngsters removing rubbish from Roker Beach.
Sunderland College youngsters removing rubbish from Roker Beach. | sn

Business student Matthew Waddle, 18, said: “I found lots of plastic bottles and lids as well as cans.

“It makes the beaches unappealing to people and is a danger for wildlife. There is often a stereotyping and stigma attached to young people as being the cause of litter but this is unfair and we shouldn’t be blamed.

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“Getting out and doing things like this hopefully makes people realise that we do care.”

Travel and Tourism student Olivia Dougherty, 17, added: “It’s important to look after our beaches and hopefully this will make people more aware not to leave their litter behind.

“Young people can get a reputation of leaving litter behind and so this beach clean helps to show the community this is not necessarily the case.”

The annual beach clean is now in its fourth year and is coordinated by the Travel, Business and Hospitality Department.

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The department’s curriculum lead, Pat Wallace, said: “This is all about encouraging the students to take an interest in their local area and give something back to the community.

“It’s important that they take pride in where they live.”

Supporting the students with their litter pick was Coast Sunderland who provided litter pickers and bags.

The Coast Sunderland project “seeks to protect the landscape and its wildlife by engaging with residents and visitors, and encouraging safe and responsible enjoyment of our coastline”.

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