Up to twenty teenagers contributed towards helping to keep the Byker Estate in Newcastle upon Tyne clean and tidy this week as part of a volunteering project they are undertaking throughout the summer.
The teenagers aged 16 to 20 volunteered to work with the Byker Community Trust’s (BCT) Rapid Response Team for one day by joining in with a community litter pick, which also educated them about the dangers of littering and the effects litter has on the environment.
The teenagers are working on a project right across the North East with the charity, Headliners UK, which inspires and encourages the personal development of young people through journalism.
Young people are trained to research and produce stories on issues that are important to them and they volunteered their services as part of the National Citizen Service (NCS), which is an ideal opportunity for young people to learn new skills and friendships outside of school and college.
Residents living on the estate also joined staff from the BCT, which owns and manages 1,800 homes on the Byker Estate, Your Homes Newcastle and Newcastle City Council to carry out the mass tidy-up.
Dan Thompson, Rapid Response Manager for the BCT, said: “It’s always welcoming to have volunteers come forward and offer their help with community projects like this. We only have a small team with limited resources operating across a large area so the more pairs of hands we have, the bigger the difference we can make.
“Across the city, there is a major issue with illegal fly tipping so we try to educate the community about the dangers this brings to themselves and the environment. We have issued flyers to all residents to raise awareness of littering and have worked successfully in the past with our tenants and resident associations on community litter picks which have made a huge difference.”
Jill Haley, Chief Executive of the BCT, said: “While improvement works are being undertaken on the Byker Wall and throughout the Estate, it is also important that our neighbourhoods are kept clean and tidy. By working in partnership with key organisations, the council and the local community, we are making a difference. It is pleasing to see these young volunteers step forward to help keep Byker tidy but at the same time, to learn how to be more responsible with litter and about the impact it has on our environment.”
Volunteer, Adil Muktadir said: “We have been meeting some of the tenants and chatting to them, I think it’s good to help out with the community.”
“Taku Mandishonha also added: “I have enjoyed being part of a team working on such a rewarding project today, helping make things better for the people who live in Byker.”