A young community champion, who was upset to see so much litter in her community, took charge and organised a successful litter-picking event.

Harriett Wilson, a Year 8 student at Richmond School & Sixth Form College, is no stranger to supporting local and national causes through fundraising, but really wanted to do something that was instantly beneficial to the environment and make her local surroundings in Middleton Tyas cleaner and more attractive for residents and visitors alike.

Thirteen-year-old Harriet independently made all the arrangements for the event, posting a couple of articles in the local village newsletter to involve other residents and make it a real community team effort.  Harriett also liaised directly with Richmondshire District Council who supplied litter pickers, hi-vis jackets and bin bags, ensuring the volunteers had all the right equipment and could do the litter picking safely.

The event was a huge success with a perfect turn out of both people and sunshine! Over a dozen members of the community supported Harriett and 12 full bin bags of litter were collected in Middleton Tyas and the outskirts of the village

Harriett is passionate about protecting animals and the environment and her earlier community and fundraising work has raised money for a number of charities, including the Dogs, Save Our Seas Foundation and the RSPCA. Harriet said: “I am very grateful to the people in the community that came out and helped with the litter pick, it wouldn’t have been a success without them.”

Harriett has a great love of sea life and is extremely concerned about the risk posed by the vast amount of plastic pollution in the environment.  She wrote to Rishi Sunak, her local MP, to express her concerns, putting forward ideas of how to address this. In her letter to Mr Sunak, Harriett also expressed her worries about the problem of plastic and litter in our towns and roadsides, which is both harmful to wildlife and the environment. Harriett was very pleased with Mr Sunak’s response, who took the time to explain a variety of measures that the government has already put in place to reduce plastic waste and litter as well as other initiatives for the future.

Jenna Potter, Headteacher, said: “Harriett has amazed me with her drive and passion to help others. I am so impressed that she independently made all the arrangements for the litter pick, liaising with the relevant organisations to ensure it was carried out safely. She demonstrates levels of independence and maturity that are way beyond her years, showing such respect for her community and the environment as a whole.”