Thank you to our WatersideCare volunteers

Thank you to our WatersideCare volunteers

Thank you to our WatersideCare volunteers

Last week our WatersideCare teams from across the Midlands gathered together, with staff and project partners, to celebrate their successes and learn from each other. And our Chief Executive, Allison Ogden-Newton, joined them at Middleton Hall to say a big thank you to all the volunteers, from everyone at Keep Britain Tidy. 
WatersideCare is a supported network of voluntary and community groups keeping local waterways across the East and West Midlands clean and healthy for both people and wildlife. The project has grown massively in the six years it has been running. Going from nine groups organising 52 events, back in 2011 when the project began, to 57 groups organising 927 events this year. 
Over the past 12 months these volunteers have had some amazing successes. The more than 14,000 hours they’ve donated had a value of £120,000. Together they have removed 419 bulky items from the Midland’s waterways. They have filled 3,000 bags with rubbish. They’ve carried out 114 water quality tests, leading to 13 pollution incidents being reported. And they’ve improved 93 different habitats, removing invasive species at 44 locations.
In Allion’s own words, “Last year I was so impressed when I visited the Frankley WatersideCare group, in Birmingham.  I was blown away with the work done there, not only the rubbish they were picking up everyday, but the fantastic way they were engaging the local community and working as a team to make a real difference. It’s the volunteers and groups, like those I met at Frankley, who are so important to Keep Britain Tidy.”
As well as thanking all the dedicated volunteers, Allison thanked our project partners at the Environment Agency, Severn Trent water and the Canals and Rivers Trust, as well as our two project officers - Lee and Sophie. As the project goes into its eighth year, and beyond, none of it would be possible without the support from our partners. 
Finally, a big thank you to all our WatersideCare volunteers, from everyone at Keep Britain Tidy.