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Picking - a winner! – Young litter champs team up with football idols
Thursday 14th April, 2011

Picking - a winner! – Young litter champs team up with football idols
Wigan Athletic stars Hugo Rodallega, Franco Di Santo, Ronnie Stam, Steve Gohouri, Conor Sammon, Steven Caldwell and Gary Caldwell with the clean-team from St John Fisher High School and members of the council’s Environmental Education, Cleansing and Neighbourhood teams.

Children from schools across Wigan Borough really have played a blinder when it comes to kicking the problem of litter into touch.

Throughout March, secondary schools teamed up with Wigan Council to rid the borough of rubbish through a campaign aimed at tackling litter on school routes.

With help from the council’s Eco Schools, Cleansing and Neighbourhood teams, pupils took ownership of the areas surrounding their schools.

They first researched what local people thought about litter and where it was coming from and then took direct action with a planned programme of litter-picks.

And the results were stunning! Over the month more than 240 pupils collected 280 bags of rubbish from around their schools. The pupils and the council even managed to pull off a late substitution in the shape of stars from Wigan Athletic, who have come out in support of the young people’s efforts.

A group of 13 young litter-pickers from St John Fisher High School took part in one of the final clean-up events of the month. They first surveyed other pupils in their school to see if they thought litter was a problem and then asked the school caretaker not to pick up any litter for a two-day period.

During the clean-up that followed the pupils managed to collect a whopping 30 bags full of litter. As a thank-you the team were invited to Wigan Athletic’s training ground to meet some of the players.

Wigan Council’s Environmental Education Co-ordinator Nick Burdekin, says: “We are really pleased with the results of our month-long anti-litter campaign. The children really have risen to the challenge and they’ve made a real difference to the streets around their schools. It’s often easy to think that young people are the cause of litter problems in our borough but the truth is they are now leading the way in tackling this problem. The campaign month may have finished but we’re sure that many of those who took part will continue to keep our borough clean.”

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez added: “Everyone knows that you play better when you play as a team and when it comes to clearing litter it looks like Wigan Borough has a great team. It’s fantastic to see so many young people getting involved in their local community in this way. We can all learn something from the example being set by the borough’s young people.”

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