Student volunteers outnumber residents in latest Jesmond litter-pick

Sub-zero temperatures, slippery pavements and a good amount of frozen waste didn’t stop 25 students from Newcastle and Northumbria universities from litter-picking in Jesmond last weekend. Keep Jesmond Clean (KJC) volunteers say they were delighted to see so many students walking into the premises of West Jesmond Primary School last Saturday morning where litter kits were being distributed.

Sandra Hind, secretary of KJC, said: “For the first time in our two-year history, Keep Jesmond Clean volunteers were outnumbered by students. Students from the University of Northumbria also participated in the community litter pick for the first time.”

The students divided themselves into smaller groups and targeted different roads and back lanes around West Jesmond Primary School from the Metro line up to the Great North Road.

Some of the student volunteers were residents of Jesmond themselves. “I’ve lived here for more than a year and I see bottles scattered every weekend and suddenly I am looking at the area differently. I will make sure I do my bit to keep the area cleaner,” said one of the volunteers.

Letters related to the proper disposal of household waste were distributed in the Manor House Road area during a KJC /Northumbria Police door-knocking campaign. 

The Raise and Giving Society (RAG) of Newcastle University has also played a role in encouraging students to volunteer for the litter pick. Jack Green, co-president of RAG, said: “We are focusing on community work this year and it’s great to see so many people.

“The students union really helped us get the word around and hopefully our numbers will keep growing. We got a positive response from Northumbria University as well and it was good to see a few volunteers from there too.”

Other areas of concern for KJC are Osborne Road to Devonshire /Cavendish/Queens Terrace. The group says it wants students who live there to be more careful and positive about the environment.