Blog post written by Peter Robertshaw, JCI Barnsley Community Director 2018
Hi, I’m Peter, I joined JCI Barnsley back in November 2013 for a short while before leaving for personal reasons, however I’ve rejoined in November 2017 and it’s the best decision I made – I’m not leaving until I “age out” of membership age at 40!
I joined JCI to learn new skills, meet new friends, develop myself and be a positive change in my community.
In March 2018 I decided to take the step to be more involved in JCI Barnsley, and put myself forward to take on the Community Director role on the Chamber’s council team. I am passionate about community as I have volunteered in several organisations over the last 13 years, and I founded my own constitution group, “H.O.P.E in Community”, which I am hoping to have registered as a charity soon.
One of the focuses as JCI Barnsley Community Director is to realise the JCI UK national projects, and this year one of those was participation in World Cleanup Day on 15th September. World Cleanup Day is a project run by Let’s Do It World, originally a national project for JCI Estonia in 2008.
JCI members and volunteers from the Kingstone Ward Alliance sticking up three fingers for a #WorldWithoutWaste
I made contact with a number of local organisations in the area to the hopes of arranging the event as a partnership event, utilising the resources these organisations already have (such as litter pickers and protective equipment), as well as pooling our resources of volunteers and man power! I spoke to Doreen from the Central Area Team who is the Supporting Officer for the Kingstone Ward Alliance (which is an organisation I also happen to be a member of as well) and after discovering the Ward Alliance was already planning to hold an event on the 15th September already, we were able to agree to collaborate with the litter pick event!
I planned the litter pick area in the town centre where the Kingstone Ward Alliance is responsible for, and liaised with JCI Barnsley’s Local President Bev to sort out some promotional material to promote the event (such as poster, Facebook event and social media banner).
Active citizens litter picking!
On the day, with the event being a collaboration, I wore three hats, as JCI Member, Ward Alliance member, and chairperson of H.O.P.E. in Community! JCI Barnsley members Oliver and Jo attended, we were supported by four members of the Kingstone Ward Alliance (Doreen, Cllr Kevin Williams, Cllr Kath Mitchell, and Cllr Jo Murray), as well as one of the volunteers, Jaime, from H.O.P.E. in Community. As the Ward Alliance had provided a bouncy castle (and refreshments), a number of passing children got in on the litter-picking action as well!
The final haul ready to be taken away
We spent a couple of hours cleaning the area I had planned which covered a small area of green space, a car park, and approximately ten residential streets nearby. We collected almost 15 bags of rubbish which was unbelievable, the area was obviously in need of the litter pick, and the clean up has made a visible positive difference to the area. One of the great things the Ward Alliance were doing at their table was showing people the cigarette tab end storage that are usually given to people who have been caught littering – cigarette ends are litter too and one of the main things that we picked up.
Before and after photos of one of the areas cleaned up
As with every experience in JCI, I have learnt from the way this event has happened, and where improvements could be made for the future, such as considering the event with a longer lead up, and speaking to or posting leaflets to the local residents so they would be aware of the us (JCI and the Ward Alliance) and the litter pick, and possibly participate.
I would love for JCI Barnsley to continue to do litter picking events, as it’s such a low barrier entry community event and has such a positive impact for our communities, as well as hosting an even bigger litter pick for World Cleanup Day 2019!Tags: #community, #lovewhereyoulive, #worldcleanupday
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