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Troon litter picker named Clean Up Hero for September

Netta Kennedy from Troon was nominated for a Clean Up Hero award by Troon Litter Crew, which she has been part of since its creation in March 2018.

Netta dedicates much of her time to cleaning up her local area including the local secondary school, Marr College, and its playing fields. After noticing that litter was a particular problem around the school, she encouraged Marr College to create litter picking groups to help raise awareness of the issue and to encourage the pupils to change their behaviour. Netta also makes sure that Troon beach is kept litter free.

On winning the award, Netta sent us the following statement about her involvement in litter picking for her community:

"I had long hated the amount of litter lying on the beaches and around the town and roadsides. It seems silly now but I was a bit shy about going out by myself to pick it up. Other people in the town obviously felt the same and when Friends of Troon Beaches was formed in April 2017 and called for volunteers, that was all the encouragement I needed.

Friends of Troon Beaches concentrated on weekly beach cleans but there were areas around the town that were badly in need of clearing, so in March 2018 we formed Troon Litter Crew to bring TLC to these hot spots.  Marr College Playing Fields, for example, was an area that was particularly bad. They are used not only by the school but are heavily utilised as a park area by Troon residents. To begin with we had a few group picks to clear litter from certain areas built up over decades e.g. crisp packets dated 2002! Once historic litter was cleared, it is now a matter of maintenance.

TLC don’t have many organised group picks, but individuals like me go out when and where it’s needed and when it suits us.  Some of us have HiVis  vests with Troon Litter Crew Volunteer on it. I think this encourages people to come up and speak to us and ask how to become involved. We post on our Facebook page to encourage other to just take a bag with them if they are out walking to pick up a few items. I always try to post positive messages such as, every time I go out someone will come up and thank me and that includes schoolkids…usually boys 😊…. who say thanks for helping the environment.

If others feel as I did and are a bit reluctant to go out on their own,  I hope that seeing me out there will encourage them to do the same.  Also hopefully the schoolkids who thank me and put their litter into my trolley as they pass, will think twice about dropping it in future and take it to the first available bin.  So really that is what keeps me picking, besides the obvious satisfaction I get from seeing the improvement after I’ve finished of course.

My message to those who drop litter and who don’t bag and bin dog poo is to try and be less selfish even if they don’t want to do anything else to help the community they live in. We are really privileged to live in a beautiful country such as ours. We should appreciate our community and not ruin it by create depressing and dismal environments around us to live and raise our children and grandchildren."

 

Joy Melville from Troon Litter Crew added: “Netta plays an important role in keeping Troon clean and tidy. She cleans a wide area in Troon, including local streets and playparks and also regularly carries out litter picks on Troon Beach. Her gentle humour encourages all of us to keep going. We are delighted that she is getting a Clean Up Scotland Hero award in recognition for her hard work and dedication to cleaning up Troon.”

 

Clean Up Scotland Hero awards are an important part of our Clean Up Scotland campaign. Like all our Heroes, Netta received a clean-up kit from our partners Helping Hand as part of her award, including a new litter picker, handi-hoop bag holder, gloves and high vis vest and reusable storage bag, which she's sporting in her photo, above.

Georgina Massouraki, Campaigns Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “People such as Netta, who give their time to cleaning up their local areas are true heroes and an inspiration to us all. Over the past decade we have seen a steady increase in the amount of litter across Scotland. But, we are heartened that so many people are working to reverse this.

“Our My Beach Your Beach pre-season survey at Troon beach in May showed that there was over 500 pieces of litter along a 100m stretch of Troon beach and prom, over a third of which was food and drink packaging. Our message is simple – bin your litter or take it home. In the meantime, thankfully there are heroes such as Netta who are playing a vital role helping to keep Scotland beautiful.”

 

08 September 2021

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