River Aire gets a clean thanks to volunteers

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A group of volunteers have helped to clean up part of the River Aire after it sustained damage during last winter’s flooding.

Eight members of staff from the Leeds Building Society took part in a clean-up at the Whitehall Road waterfront in the city centre. They joined a day of action organised by environmental charity Groundwork, who are working to clear debris from the river and rejuvenate its banks.

Despite wet weather, the group enjoyed working on the project, which is part of their employer’s volunteering scheme and enables staff to take a day of paid leave each year to help in the community.

Leeds Building Society head office branch manager Michelle Capell said:

“We had a fantastic day which involved getting stuck in with various tasks such as clearing away overgrown vegetation and removing litter.

“There was a great atmosphere at the site and a real sense of community spirit over what was being achieved.”

The team’s dedication impressed Groundwork’s John Cummins.

“The weather was horrendous - rainy, cold and as the day progressed there was plenty of slippery mud too, but even with these the conditions the volunteers arrived and worked right through the day with smiles on their faces.

“It is really becoming noticeable that Leeds people care about their city and many are willing to do something practical to improve the waterfronts.”

The results of the work were also praised by Wayne Tonks from Leeds City Council’s environmental services team.

“The volunteers have made a vast improvement to the side of the River AIre, which I am sure all visitors will notice.”

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