A PUBLIC-spirited volunteer who still gets out and about in her community picking up litter has been praised as she turns 90. 

Nan Smith, who celebrates her 90th birthday today (May 9), has been litter picking in Little Harwood, Blackburn, for a number of years to keep herself active.

Volunteering for the council using their free kits, Nan cleans up her local area and believes people should take more pride in where they live.

She said: “I like keeping my street tidy. Some people say ‘it’s not my job, I’m not picking that up’. Some people aren’t willing, but some are.

“If more people were like me it would be a lot tidier.

“Older people should be encouraged to do things, some people don’t leave the house, I think it’s better to be out doing something rather than sitting around.”

Nan will go litter picking most days, tying it in with a walk with her friend, Zarina Seedat.

Executive member for environment at Blackburn with Darwen Council, Cllr Jim Smith said: “I’d like to thank Nan and all of the volunteer litter pickers across Blackburn and Darwen for their hard work.

“They do a fantastic job and show real pride in where they live. They’re making a big difference to our communities.

“As part of the Great British Spring Clean we’re encouraging more people to help clean up their local areas.

“If you’d like to get involved you can apply for a free litter picking kit on the Lancashire Volunteer Partnership website.”

Community groups are available for people to join in litter picks with ‘Keep Blackburn Tidy’ and ‘Keep Darwen Tidy’ having nearly 2000 volunteers, who between them have volunteered over 3400 hours in the past 14 months.

You can order a litter picking kit online at https://lancsvp.org.uk/opportunities/kit/