BRIDGWATER residents are being invited this December, 2018 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 people from the community to volunteer for its last litter pick of the year on Saturday, December 8 from the YMCA in Bridgwater.
Jason Winter from Rage Against Rubbish said:
“We have had an overwhelming amount of support from the local community for our monthly litter picks and would like to thank all our volunteers.
“We host litter picks once a month and our last organised event for the year will take place on Saturday, December 8. We are always calling for more volunteers as the more hands we have the more litter we can collect. As this is our last litter pick before Christmas, Father Christmas hats, reindeer ears or festive jumpers are all welcome!
“Our litter pick on will be held from 10am until 12.30pm from the YMCA in Bridgwater heading towards the docks. We will paddle and walk towards the docks with our black bags and litter pickers and will collect rubbish from both the waterway and the tow path.
“We are advising everyone to wrap up warm and also wear waterproof clothing if you’re planning to be on the water. At our last litter pick in November we found eight tubs of Quality Streets, one eel inside a drinks can, a sky lantern as well as the usual rubbish, cones and the obligatory bike. Our litter picks are making a difference.”
Rage Against Rubbish was formed by Jason, Trev Vass, Dan Perry, his nine-year-old son Riley, 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.
Sarah Johnstone, who works for Porcupine PR in Bridgwater, is the fifth member of the team, who saw the appeal for volunteers on social media and wanted to get involved and now helps with publicity for the group with the support of her employers.
“We would love to see more people on the water and the YMCA are kindly offering us their double kayaks and Canadian canoes and life jackets for people to use free of charge. There are a limited number available so if people would like to use one for our next litter pick, please get in touch by emailing [email protected].”
Volunteers can also bring their own kayaks/canoes but they would need to also have a buoyancy aid and preferably public liability insurance, which is included with the British Canoe Membership.
“We aim to start at 10am sharp so if people wish to collect litter from the tow path, please arrive at 9.40am and for people who are borrowing equipment from the YMCA, please arrive at 9.30am. We will be doing a full briefing at 9.50am. If volunteers could please bring with them gloves and a few bin bags that would be appreciated.
“Purplespoon Café, which is located at YMCA, will be providing volunteers with a free bacon roll before the event. When people sign on for the litter pick we will provide them with a voucher. The cafe opens at 9am and we will need everyone ready to go for the briefing at 9.50am.
“The cafe will also be providing a free tea or filter coffee after the event too and we will be handing these vouchers out after the litter pick. Thank you Purplespoon.
“The West Country Branch of the Inland Waterway Association (IWA) will also be supporting us once again by supplying volunteers and a flat work boat with on-board rubbish, storage containers. They will also dispose of the rubbish removed from the canal and towpath. The IWA Volunteers are a great support.”
The IWA is a membership charity that works to protect and restore the country’s 6,500 miles of canals and rivers.
“If you would like to help us with our quest, please contact us on our Facebook page, Twitter page or email [email protected]. No one is too old or young to join in, but we do ask that all children are supervised by adults.”
The Bridgwater & Taunton canal litter pick will take place on Saturday, December 8 from 10am until 12.30pm from YMCA George Williams Centre on Friarn Avenue in Bridgwater.
To find out more about The West Country Branch of the IWA, please visit Waterways West Country.