Bridgwater families are being invited this month (April 2019) to volunteer to help clear litter along the canal and towpath with a community action group in the town. 

Rage Against Rubbish organises canal cleaning events and are calling for families to get involved with its next litter pick on Saturday, April 27 from YMCA George Williams Centre.

Thirty-three-year-old Sarah Johnstone, who lives in the town and is part of the Rage Against Rubbish crew, said,

“We’re really keen to encourage more families to join us on our litter picks as we want to inspire the younger generation to care about their local environment.

“We need to educate our children that litter does matter and explain why. Litter does harm wildlife and the RSPCA receives 7,000 calls a year about litter-related incidents, from badger cubs with plastic can holders embedded in their necks to hedgehogs with their heads wedged in empty tins.

“We also want to make Bridgwater, the canal and docks area a pleasant place to be where people want to walk with their families. Litter is unattractive and doesn’t entice people to want to spend time where there is a build-up.

“We need to remember that litter can damage the environment, but it also costs us, the general public, money as we have to pay for it to be cleaned up. In the UK in 2016 to 2017 it cost local authorities £682 million or £29 per household to keep our streets clean.”

Rage Against Rubbish was formed by Sarah, Dan Perry, his nine-year-old son Riley, Jason Winter & Trev Vass, all kayakers, who regularly paddle along the Bridgwater & Taunton canal. They were fed-up with seeing vast amounts of rubbish and discarded items in the waterway.

Rage Against Rubbish’s next litter pick will be held from 9.50am until 12.30pm from the YMCA in Bridgwater heading towards the docks. The Rage Against Rubbish Crew and volunteers will paddle and walk towards the docks and collect rubbish from both the waterway and the towpath. The community group has bin bags, litter pickers and bags hoops for volunteers to use.

Dylan Borsuk, who is 12-years-old and regularly attends the Rage Against Rubbish monthly litter picks with his mum, Rachel Borsuk, and three younger siblings, said,

“The litter picks are a really good idea. They help the environment and we are letting other people know that they shouldn’t be littering here.”

Rage Against Rubbish would also love to see more people on the water. The YMCA support the litter picks and offer the use of its double kayaks, Canadian canoes and life jackets for people to use free of charge.

Sarah added,

“There are a limited number available so if people would like to use a kayak or a canoe for our next litter pick, please get in touch via our boat booking form on our website www.rageagainstrubbish.co.uk. People can also join us on the day and collect litter from the towpath.

“To entice people further The Purplespoon Café at the YMCA will give each volunteer who attends our litter pick 10% off hot food & hot drinks on April 27. We will hand out a voucher to each person when they sign on to the litter pick and it can be used before and after the event.

“For more information about our April litter pick and how to get involved, please visit our website. No one is too old or young to join in, but we do ask that all children are supervised by adults.”

The West Country Branch of the Inland Waterway Association (IWA) support Rage Against Rubbish with its litter picks by supplying volunteers and a flat work boat with on-board rubbish, storage containers. The IWA volunteers also dispose of the rubbish removed from the canal and towpath.

The IWA is a membership charity that works to protect and restore the country’s 6,500 miles of canals and rivers.

The next Bridgwater & Taunton Canal litter pick will take place on Saturday, April 27 from 9.50am until 12.30pm from YMCA George Williams Centre on Friarn Avenue in Bridgwater.

For further details about Rage Against Rubbish, please visit www.rageagainstrubbish.co.uk, email [email protected], follow the company on Twitter at @RageRubbish or log on to www.facebook.com/rageagainstrubbish.

Some of the towpath volunteers at the last litter picking event including (second from left) Rachel Borsuk and her four children including (third from left) Dylan Borsuk.

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