North East Connected

Community Spirit shown by Newport Litter Pickers

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 16.41.28A COMMUNITY litter picking group has been formed by a group of people who mainly arrived in Middlesbrough seeking asylum.

And the six-strong group are looking for further opportunities to give back to the town they now call home.

Two of the group, Henrietta Mlilo and Xoliso Sithole, both from Zimbabwe, live in the Newport area and approached the ward’s Councillor Tracy Harvey about getting involved in activities locally.

Xoliso arrived in Middlesbrough in 2006 and Henrietta last year and between them have given their time freely to help at James Cook University Hospital, the North of England Refugee Service and the Restoration of Human Rights group.

They are joined in the litter picking group by fellow Zimbabweans Sipho Ncube and Ndumiso Ncube, Miriam Michael from Nigeria and Jainaba Jah from Gambia.

The six are now planning to attend Community Hub drop-in sessions explaining more about volunteering opportunities in the town.

Xoliso, 45, said: “I have stayed here for a long time and I can say this is my home and I want to know more people and be friendly with more people.”

Henrietta, 48, said: “We would like to get involved within the community which we live in. We came to the Council and we asked Tracy what we could do and she advised us that we could do litter picking working with her and also suggested we do some training on volunteering.”

Cllr Tracy Harvey said: “When Xoliso and Henrietta got in touch about giving time to volunteering I was delighted but not surprised.

“We have a wonderful community spirit in Newport which so many people contribute to and so it’s great to hear that this group want to join in with that.

“I’ve welcomed them to join me in a community litter pick and we’ll be making it a regular event, but they are a very impressive gang who can contribute so much more and I have no doubt at all that they will.”

To learn more about volunteering with Middlesbrough Council members of the public can attend the weekly drop-in sessions held on:

Tuesdays between 2pm-4pm at North Ormesby Hub, Derwent Street, Middlesbrough, TS3 6JB.

Wednesdays between 10.30am-noon at Easterside Hub, Broughton Avenue, Middlesbrough, TS4 3PZ.

Wednesdays between 2pm-4pm at Newport Hub, St Pauls Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 5NQ.

Thursdays between 2pm-4pm at Thorntree Hub, Birkhall Road, Thorntree, Middlesbrough, TS4 3PZ.

Thursdays between 9.30am-11.30am at Hemlington Library, Middlesbrough, TS8 9JJ

Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering email, call 07795 813033 or visit

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