An eight-year-old girl in Hull has been nominated for a national Keep Britain Tidy award, following her efforts to crack down on littering in a West Hull neighbourhood during the coronavirus pandemic.
When the first lockdown was announced earlier this year, Freyah Ryan made the decision to incorporate her daily one hour exercise with an activity which would improve the environment.
The young girl inspired a whole host of other young volunteers who took up the opportunity to carry out community litter picks, supported by Hull City Council’s Love Your Street project.
The group called themselves the Litter Squad, and manages to raise funds for litter-picking equipment and branded hi-vis jackets through raffles and donations on their Facebook page. The funds also contributed towards creating certificates and medals to thank those who are contributing positively to their project.
Freyah’s mum, Danielle Rhodes, said: “The growth of Litter Squad has been a ray of sunshine on a rather bleak 2020. It has provided many families with a sense of ownership and belonging in their community. Myself and Freyah thank everyone for their contribution and support and look forward to the future of Litter Squad.”
The group now has over 50 members, and managed to raise money for Chester Zoo during lockdown to save the zoo through donations from other like-minded individuals who joined their plight to keep their area litter free.
Freyah also spent her time designing litter rocks, which were placed around her local area to remind people not to litter their rubbish.
Sara Clayton, team leader for environmental improvement at Hull City Council, said: “The Love Your Street project has been happy to support the Litter Squad in their mission to keep the streets free of litter. It’s a fantastic initiative, and we’re really proud to see young people in our city getting involved and choosing to make a positive contribution to society.
“We all have our fingers crossed for Freyah and the Litter Squad, and hope that Keep Britain Tidy recognise all the hard work they have put in to improving the environment.”
The virtual Keep Britain Tidy Network Awards 2021 will take place on Wednesday 3 February.