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Anne Hay wins Clean Up Scotland Hero award

Anne Hay has been recognised with a Clean Up Scotland Hero award for her efforts to reverse the country’s litter emergency.

Anne is part of Literati Guide to Inverclyde, a group of volunteers who work tirelessly to keep their area clean and litter free.

The group’s Stephen Henry, who nominated Anne, said: “She’s an absolute legend. She’s got another couple of people involved who care about the environment and they’ll go out and collect 10 or 15 bags on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, and she goes out every Saturday with our team who clean every part of Inverclyde.

“She’s just constant out there, and she makes cakes, and she’s just a lovely individual who’s got the environment at her heart. It’s phenomenal; she’s phenomenal.”

Anne was a competitive runner and then took early retirement around 10 years ago. Following the death of her father, Anne helped to bring up her grandkids but when they went to school and nursery, she ‘wasn’t needed as much’.

For the first time in her life, Anne felt at a loose end. Not running anymore and walking more often, she began to notice the amount of litter ruining the local beauty spots.

“Litter’s always annoyed me,” Anne said. “I kept saying I was going to do something, and then I joined Facebook and that’s when I saw the Literati Guide to Inverclyde.”

That was around three years ago and now, not only is Anne and the group doing their part to tackle the litter emergency, they’re also benefiting from the social interaction with like-minded people.

With George, a fellow member, unable to make clean ups over the weekend, Anne, George, Lesley and Anne’s sister-in-law now meet up on a Tuesday or Wednesday for a litter pick and a spot of lunch.

Despite being nominated for an individual award, Anne was keen to stress that the entire group are more than worthy of recognition for their collective efforts.

Stephen added: “She’s got a great personality, she encourages people to get involved and she’s very inclusive in her approach. She’s really engaging, she’s trying to do the right thing all the time and she’s well known across the community from a litter picking standpoint.

“She’s just an all-round cracking person and you’d love nothing better than to have Anne in your team.

“When I think about all the activity that goes on across Inverclyde, and there’s quite a lot, and we’re quite well organised as volunteers, she’s the one person that instantly pops into my head as the person that I’ve got the most respect for and that you would want as a role model for a litter picking community.”

Barry Fisher, our Chief Executive, said: “I am incredibly pleased to award Anne with our Clean Up Scotland Hero award. She is a great role model for everyone and really deserves this recognition for her enduring determination.

“Scotland has a litter emergency, so it is more important than ever that we look after our beautiful country and keep it clean and tidy.

“Our latest report found that 90% of people believe litter is an issue across the country, so we all have a responsibility to play our part.

“We know how much people care about our environment, and I hope that Anne’s award encourages others to get involved and help us keep Scotland beautiful.”

Chrissie Jeffery, Scottish Lead for Helping Hand, said: “As the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of quality, sustainable litter clearance tools and equipment, our commitment to environmental responsibility is at the forefront of our mission. Since 2014, we have taken immense pride in championing the Hero of the Month Award, a platform that recognises the extraordinary dedication of individuals and organisations striving to Keep Scotland Beautiful.

“Today, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to the latest winner, Anne, and we will be sending them a sustainable litter picking kit to help continue their remarkable efforts in contributing to the collective goal of fostering a cleaner, greener Scotland.

“We believe in empowering those who share our passion for environmental stewardship, and it is truly inspiring to witness the positive influence these heroes have on their communities.”

If you know someone who deserves to be recognised, nominate them now for an award.

10 April 2024

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