School children from Kenton Bar Primary School were joined by an important former pupil when they took part in Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean and spruced up their local streets.

Tina with pupils from Kenton Bar Primary School

Tina Drury, managing director of Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) and former pupil of Kenton Bar Primary, joined five children from years five and six on a litter pick as part of the national week of action organised by Keep Britain Tidy. She then presented those who took part with a special certificate in their school assembly and thanked them for their important contribution to making their neighbourhood more pleasant for everyone. The Great British Spring Clean is a national campaign designed to fight litter in towns and cities across the country by bringing local communities together to clear up rubbish and set a positive example to those living nearby. YHN, the arms-length management organisation responsible for managing homes on behalf of Newcastle City Council, organised events in thirteen different communities across the city. Numerous members of staff from YHN and Newcastle City Council teamed up with local residents, Councillors, tenant and resident associations, Northumbria Police, Springs Roofing, Greggs, McDonalds UK, Fresh Student Living, West End Women and Girls, Excelsior Academy and St. Mark’s Primary School in Newbiggin Hall to collectively remove 458 bags of litter from the streets of Newcastle.

Children from St Mark’s Primary School with YHN staff

But, for managing director Tina Drury, the most memorable part of the campaign was meeting pupils from Kenton Bar Primary and going back for a visit many years after her last one. She said: “It was so much fun for me to spend time with the children from my old primary school and the kids were great; they really got into it and were extremely competitive and very eager to pick up the rubbish whenever it was spotted, so I couldn’t always get my litter picker in there fast enough! “It really took me back actually going into the school too, I felt the years drop off me as I walked through the door and it was like being a child again – although everything did look a little smaller to my adult eyes! “I was keen to do my bit because I think it makes such a difference to people when the areas outside their homes are clean and tidy and I wanted to help make this happen. This is something YHN has focused on for many years and our customers regularly get involved in our clean-up events so we know it’s something that matters to them too. “I’d like to thank the Kenton Bar Tenants’ and Residents’ Association for putting on a lovely spread for the children and me as well as everyone who got stuck in on the day – I think we’re all passionately anti-litter as a result and that can only be a good thing for our estates.” The children who took part in the Kenton Bar litter pick were given a goody bag and Tina presented them with a certificate at a special school assembly. The head teacher at St Mark’s Primary School also held a special assembly for the pupils who took part in a litter pick in Newbiggin Hall and those children received a certificate and a goody bag too.

Children from Kenton Bar Primary school receive their certificates from Tina

Cllr Nick Kemp, Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods and regulation, said: “It was really pleasing to see how communities across the whole City have demonstrated their commitment to the value of keeping a cleaner and greener environment. The Great British Spring Clean not only raised awareness of how littering can affect the places we live and work, but also gave young people the chance to discuss the matter in the classroom and assist first-hand in and around their school.” Any YHN customers who think their neighbourhood could benefit from a clean-up event should contact their local housing office, contact details can be found here. More information about the Great British Spring Clean is available here.