Litter Champion Wiola Jesionka

Meet the woman taking on Hull’s litter louts

People are coming together to make a real difference to their community in some of our city’s litter hotspots. Since the launch of Hull City Council’s Love Your Street initiative last year, six environmental improvement officers have been out and about, talking to residents about their concerns and working together to improve their street.

The Love Your Street team works in Newington and Gypsyville, St Andrew’s and Docklands, University, Avenue, Beverley and Newland, and Central wards of Hull. They act as the eyes and ears of the community, and inspire residents to organise litter picks and help tackle fly-tipping.

Wiola Jesionka lives near the city centre with her son Kalem, 10, and dog Potter.

They have included litter-picking in their routine, picking up rubbish while walking their dog, and taking part in group litter-picks with their residents’ group.

Wiola says: “We’ve been litter-picking for a good few months. We’re trying to clean up the area. It’s only 10 to 15 minutes a day and you can change something. You can pick up half a bag of rubbish in that time.

“I came to the UK from Chorzow in Poland 14 years ago and I’ve seen a lot of changes. Sometimes, I look out of the window and see litter and bags of rubbish – everything that is not supposed to be there. I don’t want my son to play outside among rubbish, so we do this – because we care.

“We have plenty of neighbours who also want to really look after and care for our community, and we go out together to pick up rubbish every few weeks. There’s a good community spirit. It’s nice to meet new people, make new friends and improve my language skills.”

If you’d like to organise a community clear-up event where you live, the Love Your Street team can loan adult and child-sized litter pickers and hi-vis vests, graffiti removal kits and training, chewing gum removal kits, litter collection sacks and gloves. They can also collect litter at the end of the event. Email loveyourstreet@hullcc.gov.uk or contact them on Facebook or Twitter @LoveYourStHull