More than 100 Volunteers Brighten Streets with RAYS

INDIVIDUALS and groups from across Reading have signed up to a new community clean-up scheme.

By the end of June 2017 as part of the Reading Adopt Your Street (RAYS) scheme a total of 114 residents and community groups had adopted over 100 small parts of Reading to keep litter free.

Scout groups and schools can also join in the scheme which is co-ordinated and supported by Reading Borough Council, which provides cleaning equipment and high-vis jackets.

The RAYS team have visited dozens of community events and fairs promoting the scheme and signing up new members since its launch in March 2017.

The groups which have registered so far include Tilehurst Globe, Caversham Globe, Baker Street Neighbourhood Association (BSANA), Hamilton Road Residents Association, Katesgrove Primary School Mini-Police and Alfred Sutton Primary School.

Caversham and Tilehurst Globe groups were already involved in litter clearing projects and have enthusiastic members, some of whom have adopted three or four streets each.

Redlands Globe, in east Reading, have agreed to co-ordinate RAYS in the area and the University of Reading is investigating setting up a litter picking team.

Twenty pupils and four staff from Katesgrove Primary School have signed up as Mini Police, in partnership with Thames Valley Police, and adopted five local streets and an open area to keep clean.

The RAYS team will continue to take their stall to community festivals and events to encourage more interest in the coming months.

Councillor Liz Terry, Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods, said:

“There has been a great response to the RAYS scheme since it was launched earlier this year and I am really pleased to see so many people now taking part.

“It is great we have school pupils involved as well as community groups and individuals and I am sure their efforts are making a real difference to their neighbourhoods.”

The work carried out by volunteers is in addition to the Council’s normal street cleaning schedules.

The Council applied for funding to launch Adopt Your Street through the Tesco Bags of Help initiative and was awarded £10,000. Tesco works with environmental regeneration charity Groundwork on the Bags of Help scheme which allocates grants from money raised by the 5p plastic bag levy.

Anyone interested in participating in the Reading Adopt Your Street programme should call (0118) 937 3534 or email RAYS@reading.gov.uk.

Anyone can nominate a local project for the Bags of Help scheme and local organisations can apply. To find out more, visit http://www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp