AWARD-WINNING litter-pickers are putting their prize money to good use.
Stratford charity Rubbish Friends was awarded the runner-up prize in Orbit Housing Association’s 2020 Thriving Communities Awards along with £250 to support its work.
The volunteers have decided the money will be used to provide anti-litter packs for others to get involved.
Created in 2017, with a vision to bring likeminded individuals together to keep communities clear of litter, Rubbish Friends is a small group which meets regularly to pick up litter from the streets, parks and waterways of Stratford.
The group, which has inspired a number of other litter-picking teams to clean-up across Warwickshire, is now a registered charity.
But since the pandemic has meant meeting up was no longer possible, the friends – with help from Orbit – have created litter-picking loan packs.
Orbit spokeswoman Cheryl Flavell said: “Rubbish Friends is more than just picking up litter – being outdoors, meeting and forming connections with others from the community shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to wellbeing. As the name suggests, valuable friendships are often formed and its work has also brought awareness to more serious issues such as fly tipping and discarded sharps.
“The funding from our Thriving Communities Awards will help Rubbish Friends to continue all its hard work throughout the pandemic by providing litter pick packs for even more people in the local community.”
Rubbish Friends spokeswoman added: “I am delighted that Becky and Stratford-upon-Avon are even less Rubbishy and even more Friendly, thanks to this award. The grant has provided the group with more gloves and pickers, and from October 2020, members can borrow on a long-term loan basis during the continued restrictions of covid-19.”
To borrow a kit, users must be a member of Rubbish Friends. Search Rubbish Friends on Facebook for more information on joining for free.