Keep Leeds Tidy: Kids show the adults a thing or two about community spirit

Children, residents and Leeds City Council staff gathered for the Big Spring Clean in Harehills. Pictures: Steve Riding
Children, residents and Leeds City Council staff gathered for the Big Spring Clean in Harehills. Pictures: Steve Riding
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These Leeds youngsters are showing the adults the meaning of community pride and neighbourhood.

A group of 30 children spearheaded the street clean-up as part of the Keep Harehills Tidy campaign.

Children, residents and Leeds City Council staff gathered for the Big Spring Clean in Harehills.

Children, residents and Leeds City Council staff gathered for the Big Spring Clean in Harehills.

Armed with litter-pickers and high-visibility vests, they took to their local streets on a Saturday morning, many of them encouraging their parents to come out with them.

Co-organiser Laura Eagle, from Leeds City Council’s communities team, said: “We gathered at 9.45am and stood waiting hesitantly. Slowly they started coming out and getting involved, and we had about 30 kids and 20 adults in the end.”

The event was part of the Big Spring Clean-Up. Another clean-up will be held on June 22, targeting a different ‘zone’ of Harehills. The area has been split into six such zones, with a different cluster of streets targeted every month.

Local Labour councillor Salma Arif said: “It was incredibly positive. We found that the children came forward before the parents and actually brought their parents with them.

“It was fantastic for them to be involved and to see them understanding the concept of having a tidy area. It’s just what we need. It’s about planting that seed of community spirit and showing that we all need to take responsibility, and take ownership, of where we live.”

Coun Arif said around 30 bags of rubbish were collected in total. The youngsters were given goodie bags for their efforts.

The campaign has been holding regular events for the last year, focusing on areas of Harehills that are considered the most “challenging” environmentally.

NOMINATE A ‘GROTSPOT’

YEP readers are being asked to nominate a litter-strewn part of the city to be given a thorough makeover as part of our Keep Leeds Tidy campaign.

We have teamed up with McDonald’s to find the city’s grimiest location and tidy it up – but we need your help.

We’re asking readers to send photos of the city’s worst grot spots for the fast food giant’s band of volunteers to tackle.

We’ll select the biggest eyesores from your nominations before letting you vote for the one which is most deserving of a big clean. But hurry time is running out – we need your suggestions by the end of May.

The initiative comes hot on the heels of the launch of our Keep Leeds Tidy campaign to encourage Loiners to reclaim their neighbourhoods, and rid them of the grime and anti social crimes of litter, flytipping, dog fouling and graffiti vandalism. To nominate an area, email hannah.start@jpress.co.uk, with a photo, address and the date on which it was taken.

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