Community clean-up of Sunderland city centre site gathers dozens of bags of litter and hailed a huge success

A group of youngsters teamed up with charities and cross-party councillors to carry out a litter pick.

Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 6:00 am
Members of the Sunderland Youth Council at the Galley's Gill litter pick.

Eight young people from the Sunderland Youth Council (SYC) met at Galley's Gill, a green area west of the Vaux site, beside the south banks of the River Wear.

The place is looking a whole lot better now after 24 bags containing a "variety of waste" was removed from the site.

Other groups involved included two members of environmental organisation Groundwork North East and Cumbria, and six members the Sunderland branch of women's charity the Soroptimists.

Not afraid of hard work. Members of the Sunderland Soroptimists at the Galley's Gill litter pick.

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Soroptimist International is part of a global volunteer movement of 75,000 members in 122 countries, aiming to transform the lives of women and girls through "education, empowerment and enabling opportunities".

Also present were two members of Change Council, which represents children in care.

SYC members are aged 11-19 and represent the voices of young people in Sunderland. Both the SYC and Change Council are supported by Together for Children, which delivers children’s services on behalf of Sunderland City Council.

Three Sunderland City councillors from across the political spectrum worked on the litter pick too. They were Labour's Louise Farthing, the Conservatives' Joshua McKeith and Andrew Wood of the Lib Dems.

Members of the Sunderland Youth Council in action at the Galley's Gill litter pick.

Racheal Courtney of Groundwork said: "We are extremely impressed with the effort which the SYC have put into their project. In seeing young people take action, we're all hopeful that it will help to encourage the general public to keep Sunderland tidy and to be proud of their local area"

Councillor Farthing, portfolio holder for children’s services, said: “Here in Sunderland our long-term plan is centred around a vibrant and dynamic city with safe neighbourhoods.

"Doing litter picks like this contributes to improving our green spaces that make for more attractive places for people to participate in physical activity.”

Polly Davies, 15, from Sunderland Youth Council said: “We decided to create an awareness campaign about the need to dispose of litter correctly to protect our green spaces, which are known to benefit well-being and mental health.”

Members of the Sunderland Youth Council were busy at the Galley's Gill litter pick.

In July the SYC ran a campaign to keep Sunderland Air Show free from litter.

Members of the Sunderland Youth Council in action at the Galley's Gill litter pick.