What better way to teach our young about playing their role within their community than picking up litter during their walk to school and back each day.
During the last lockdown Emily, my 9 year old daughter and I decided to clean up our patch in Witney by taking a bag with us on our walk to school and collecting rubbish every morning. At first it felt a little strange and even embarrassing, yet as each day passed the local neighbourhood began to look better and better we felt a pride in our work. It only took a few extra minutes to get to school, and Emily initially took the full bags in to her teacher to dispose of with the aim of inspiring other children to do the same. Her friends told her they were keen to also give it a go.
Her teachers were pleased with her efforts and gave her the star of the day for her contribution to the community, she reported one day with a smile spread across her face.
People soon began to chat, smile and engage with us whilst we did our work. Our local priest would often get off his bike and walk with us as we collected from the path. Not only did we clean up our streets and surrounding countryside, we connected with our community and felt the appreciation of doing our bit.
Imagine those people fearful of the virus leaving their houses for their one walk a day confronted by the symbol of discarded face masks on the floor. By collecting these up we also felt we were doing our bit to help lift the spirits of those feeling vulnerable the most.
We encourage you to give it a go and spread the word. Lets clean up Oxfordshire and teach our young the powerful feeling of doing their duty for their community.
Let us know how you get on and what impact it has on you, your family and your community.
Written by Ben Molyneux