Six colleagues from Woking Funeral Service, Goldsworth Road, took it upon themselves to clean up their local community after noticing a growing litter problem during lockdown.
The group led by Funeral Arranger Louise Jarrett filled over four bin bags in one day by walking six kilometres through Woking, while stopping at several littering hotspots along the way including Woking Park.
Louise said: “Passers-by were cheering us on and clapping as we arrived in high-vis vests with litter pickers in hand. The littering problem is clearly one felt by a number of residents.”
Louise first noticed an abundance of litter while on daily walks with her mother during lockdown, where she was saddened by the state of the area along Hoe Stream, as well as people throwing rubbish from cars.
She said: “If it weren’t for lockdown restrictions encouraging us to exercise more and make the most of the outdoors, we may never have seen just how bad the litter problem has got in this town.”
The mother and daughter began bringing bin bags to their four-kilometre treks and were able to fill them with rubbish each time, so Louise decided to take it a step further and ask her colleagues for help.
She said: “I sent around an email and five of my colleagues immediately expressed an interest in doing something, so we set aside a Saturday for a six-kilometre walk.”
Louise ordered high-vis vests and litter pickers for the group before setting off on the two-hour route, where they found everything from cereal bowls to cutlery.
Louise said: “People from WEact, a local environmental action group, were kind enough to bring us a beautiful plant after seeing what we were doing. Some passers-by also decided to help pick up rubbish with us.
“As well as being a constant eyesore for residents, the litter is incredibly harmful to the environment and local wildlife. I therefore encourage anyone in the area to get involved and do some good for the town.”
Louise has joined WEact on Facebook to continue reaching out to the community and plans to organise more group litter picks in the future.