If you’re a litter picker – someone who goes out with binbags, gloves and a general determination to clean up your local area – then clearly you have a well-developed sense of pride in your neighbourhood.
Little wonder, then, that many litter pickers use FixMyStreet as they go about their voluntary clean-ups. We love to see it — and we like it even more when they give a shoutout to the service on social media!
This cheery bunch are the Kings Heath and Brandwood Litter Pickers, who quite honestly manage to make hard toil look like a fun social event. Indeed, they do often follow up their work cleaning up the streets with a cuppa and a chat.
Kim Hudson, the pink-haired lady in that first picture, tweeted to say that not only had they filled seven binbags in a recent outing, but they’d used FixMyStreet to report five instances of fly tipping, broken paving and drain covers. Looks like they’re not averse to a few guerrilla tactics too…
We messaged Kim, and she told us, “The Kings Heath & Brandwood Litter Pickers operate in south Birmingham.
“We meet every Sunday at 10, and we also support other local groups if they have a grotspot. I am known as the Dawberry Fields Fairy and have been known to litter-pick in my tutu!” Kim also told us to get in touch with the group’s founder, Andrea Quigley, if we needed more details — so we did!
Andrea explained the how group began: “It started about four years ago. My daughter was working in Spain and, returning one Christmas, was appalled at the litter on the streets. Spain is much cleaner. So, with a friend, we started the group”.
Their grabbers, gloves, hoops, high viz vests and other equipment are funded by Kings Heath Business Improvement District, and Birmingham City Council provide the bags.
It’s all very well organised: “Our members adopt roads and when they join say how many hours they are prepared to do each month.
“Some members just adopt their own streets; others do more. Only about ten of us meet on Sundays, but the group as a whole has about 65 members who just get on with it in their locality.”
And how does FixMyStreet fit in?
“We regularly use FixMyStreet to log issues — usually fly tipping — and it’s extremely useful and easy to use.
“In the email I send to new members, I always suggest they use FixMyStreet to report issues with the council. I think our team has made a difference to the area and the community and as we use FixMyStreet, that has too.”
We’re really glad to be playing a part in this endeavour. We also enjoyed hearing about the logistics of the group – and the fun side – from Kim and Andrea.
If your neighbourhood could do with a clean-up, perhaps you’ll take inspiration from the Kings Heath and Brandwood posse, and get a group of litter pickers together. Sounds like the ideal social activity: a bit of physical exertion, a sociable chat, cleaner streets for everyone – oh, and the chance to wear a tutu if you’d like.
Who knew litter picking could be so much fun!