Volunteers working hard to keep their communities clean and tidy are being offered support thanks to a new scheme.
Community groups have been springing up in and around Daventry in recent years, and several have focussed on cleaning up their local areas.
Now Daventry District Council has found there is a need for a new role to be created to coordinate between these community groups and bodies like the council or highways department.
The Clean and Green Project has been set up to offer practical guidance to people who are trying to make a positive difference to the cleanliness of their local area, as well as to recruit new volunteers across the district.
Developed by Daventry District Council in partnership with Daventry Volunteer Centre, the project is being led by Clean and Green co-ordinator Angie Farrant.
And Angie is keen to help anyone wishing to plan community clean-ups and other environmental improvement initiatives in their local area.
She said: “There are so many fantastic volunteers in Daventry District who are working hard to help keep their communities clean and tidy, but not everyone knows where to go for support.
“My role is to provide a central point of contact for those volunteers.
“I can help people access litter-picking equipment, assist them creating flyers and other promotional materials, offer advice on health and safety and risk assessments and liaise with other agencies to help tackle issues such as fly-tipping or untidy areas of private land.
“I’m sure there are lots of people out there who would also like to make a difference in their area but don’t know where to start and I’m really keen to support them along that path as well as helping them to find like-minded people.”
The project, which is being paid for out of the District’s Second Homes Fund, was developed by DDC’s Environmental Improvement team following the success of a volunteer-led initiative to clean up Daventry’s Grange Estate.
The estate is looking better than it has in 20 years thanks to resident Jacquie Ward and her fellow volunteers with support from other agencies including DDC, the Police and Daventry & District Housing.
Their work started with one person picking up litter while walking along one path, but now has become a community-wide campaign that has made a real difference to how the estate looks, and how people think about the area.
Jacquie said: “I began by litter-picking near my house and it has just snowballed from there.
“Now we have a big community pulling together to make a difference but it was quite difficult in the beginning because I didn’t know where to go to access support.
“Now we have that support, it is helping us to make a real difference to the estate. That’s why I think the Clean and Green Project is such a great idea. Volunteers need that guidance when they are starting out so I’m pleased to see this has been introduced.”
The Clean and Green Project is part of DDC’s Clean Up My Community campaign, which was launched in 2014 to introduce a proactive approach to addressing environmental crimes across the district.
Maria Taylor, community manager at Daventry District Council, said: “The work on the Grange is a great example of how volunteers can work with the council and other agencies to produce remarkable results. We want to work with people to improve communities and the Clean and Green Project is a wonderful opportunity to further grow the level of volunteer activity across the district.
“I would urge anyone who would like to take an active part in keeping their area looking its best to contact Angie and see how she can help support their efforts.”
Carella Davies, Manager at Daventry Volunteer Centre, said: “We are really excited about this joint project with DDC which will give people who are interested in improving their local area an opportunity to get involved in a way that makes a big difference and that everyone will benefit from.”
For more information about the project or to volunteer please call Angie on 01327 300614 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. People can also visit the Daventry District Welfare Foundation (DDWF) building at 13 New Street, Daventry (next to Tesco).