Cerys Hard, aged 11, is an ‘Eco Warrior’ at St Anthony’s Catholic Primary Academy, Fordhouses, and a parishioner at St Anthony of Padua church.

This is her story as she, and others, care for our common home.

Cerys’ Eco Stewards

When you have been walking or driving around your local area, have you seen the litter on the ground? I know that I have.

The reason why I had started to notice this mess is because I had recently been selected as one of St Anthony’s Primary Academy’s eco warriors. Our job is to make sure the environment is clean and to make sure the world stays green.

That made me think, “What could I do to stop all this littering in my local area?”

I mentioned this to my mum and she said that she had seen a poster for a community litter pick in a nearby village. I thought that this was a brilliant idea and I started to think about how I could organise my own litter pick. To make this successful I would need help from other people who were concerned about the environment. I started planning when and where I was going to do this, and who I was going to ask to help me. I decided that I would invite the eco warriors from school and the people who attend St Anthony’s church.

My mum helped me to get in touch with the local council, who agreed to provide us with black bags and to collect the rubbish after each litter pick.

I decided to run the litter picks on the last Sunday of each month and to make it easier for people to attend (or harder to get out of helping) it would start straight after Mass.

The first litter pick started small, we were joined by 14 people and I decided we would focus on the church grounds, Bee Lane and the joining field.

We managed to collect 10 black bags of litter. At the next event the group was WAY bigger, 30 people volunteered to help (we nearly ran out of grabbers). On this litter pick we collected 14 full bags of rubbish, splitting into two groups we focused on Bee Lane, Primrose Avenue and Cottage Lane.

Our third finished with us collecting 17 bags of litter.

On my most recent pick we were lower on numbers, because of Easter, but still managed seven full bags. I can’t believe the progress we’ve made in such a short period of time.

People have been stopping us in the street to say thank you, offering to join us and even offering to dispose of the rubbish bags for us. Our litter pick will continue every last Sunday of the month, I hope I will see some of you in the future, or if you are further afield I hope this inspires you to set up your own litter picking community group.

Our Diocesan Environment