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Last week we were able to restart some of our community and resident groups outside. We have been using the phrase ‘groups of 6, but please don’t mix’ and it seems to be working well! In line with the government announcement hopefully we can open our groups up to more people from next week!

On Thursday 6th May we relaunched our Walk and Talk group in partnership with Red Balloons. Walking is one of the easiest ways to improve your health; its free, it can be tailored to be accessible and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.

What we sometimes forget is the benefits walking can have on our mental health and wellbeing. Being outside, getting fresh air and that all important vitamin D! Walking will lift your mood and boost endorphins. If you join a planned group walk it can help you to meet new people and reduce loneliness. One Study found that walking increased creative output by an average of 60 percent. According to the study, “walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.”

On Sunday the community litter picking group, which covers Hardwick and Roseworth ward, met up in Roseworth to do a planned litter pick. We had great attendance from local residents of all ages and the Roseworth Ward Cllr Barbara joined us too. We managed to fill 11 bags (and randomly found half a door frame).

There are so many benefits to taking part and volunteering your time:

  • You really can make a difference…I litter pick often and I’m actually seeing less rubbish in my local area (shhhh don’t tell anyone! But I think we are starting to win)
  • Achieve something new: People will stop you a lot and say thank you. And it really does give you a sense of pride.
  • Be part of a community: it will happen without you even realising! And before you know it you will be part of an army of litter heroes
  • Learn new skills: I have learnt more about the world around us, the benefits of recycling and how to support a greener world. My son has learnt how to not turn on a light in every room, so hopefully my electric bill will go down!
  • Have fun! The children who joined in yesterday had a great time rolling down the hills and playing in the park once they were done.

There are community and resident led litter picking groups all over Stockton on tees, so if you are interested join in!

Billingham: Billingham Tidy Up
Hardwick and Roseworth: Hardwick and Roseworth Community Litter Pick
Ingleby Barwick: Ingleby Barwick Community Litter Project
Norton: Norton Clean Up Your Act
Portrack: Portrack Litter Picking Community Group
Thornaby: Thornaby Community Litter Project
Yarm: Yarm Litter Project

Claire Andrews, Community development worker at Roseworth Big Local and Resident Volunteer at Hardwick & Roseworth Community Litter Picking Group