LANCASHIRE is home to a wide variety of campaign groups who give up their free time and do their very best to keep their communities as clean as possible.

From Blackburn with Darwen, to Hyndburn, Burnley, the Ribble Valley and elsewhere these groups are at the forefront of getting the very best out of volunteers’ skills and dedication.

One such group is Keep Blackburn Tidy, a group which counts nearly two and a half thousand members amongst its ranks.

The group’s mission statement reads: “Pick a small bag of litter a day and help to keep our community clean and tidy.

“As the saying goes, many hands make light work, let's work together and make a difference.”

The group post regular updates about their litter picking activities across social media, with an active Facebook and Twitter account, which allows members to demonstrate what they have done to help keep their areas clean.

Every week Keep Blackburn Tidy posts a round up of its most recent litter picking achievements, allowing volunteers to see the impact that their combined efforts have been having.

The group’s most recent tally showed that they had collected an incredible total of 225 bags of rubbish for that week, despite the cold, snowy conditions.

Not far away, Keep Darwen Tidy works just as hard to keep their town clean and show just how proud Darreners are of their community.

Keep Darwen Tidy counts almost 3,000 members in its Facebook group, an active Twitter presence and, much like its Blackburn counterpart posts the results of its work on social media.

The group’s mission statement says: “Darwen has a strong community of likeminded people who take a pride in where they live.

“Keep Darwen tidy is a group that allows people to discuss the litter problem, register as litter pickers, uncover problem areas which need attention and work with the Council to find solutions.”

Both groups work with council services, and the Lancashire Volunteer Partnership with local authority leaders acknowledging that their vital work would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of those at the grassroots.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Volunteers have braved snowy conditions

A statement by the partnership said: “Every penny the Council spends cleaning up litter and rubbish is money that could be spent on other valuable services from elderly care to road repair and education.

“That’s why under the Your Call programme since 2011, the Council’s environment team, has supported local residents who want to ‘do their bit’ to keep their neighbourhood clean and safe.”

The coronavirus pandemic that has hit Lancashire particularly hard over the last year, putting a great deal of pressure on all kinds of council services, meaning that the determination of people in their own communities has become more and more vital.

In Hyndburn, volunteers rose to the challenge 2020 presented when members of Friends of Platts Lodge, The Canals and Rivers Trust and Accrington and Blackburn Angling Society all took part in a clean up Platts Lodge event in March alongside Hynburn Council cabinet member for environmental services Paul Cox and local MP Sara Britcliffe.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Keep Britain Tidy volunteers with Sara Britcliffe MP and Councillor Paul Cox last year

Commenting on the event’s success, Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “It is groups like Friends of Platts Lodge, The Canals and Rivers Trust and Accrington and Blackburn Angling Society who are leading the action in communities up and down the country and making a huge difference, not just during this campaign but all year round.

This was part of the national Keep Britain Tidy Campaign and, as we enter 2021, groups all across Lancashire will be keen to continue this good work.