Beach cleaning group discover new way to keep volunteers motivated

  • Video report by ITV News reporter Toby Winson

A group of litter picking volunteers in Broadstairs, Kent, have discovered a new way to keep their members motivated after they became disheartened by the constant return of litter to Botany Bay.

Last year, when coronavirus restrictions were lifted, people flocked to the coast. Unfortunately, the group say that with more people came more rubbish.

Barry Manners, Director of Friends of Botany Bay, said "It was terrible. We had volunteers in tears. Every day you come down - another twenty bags of rubbish. Next day, the same thing, day after day. Volunteers get fatigued. You know, you can't expect people to turn up day after day."

The group created The Friends of Botany Bay Public Interest Company. They say members of the public can donate money which goes towards paying for the insurance of the beach cleaners, whilst any surplus goes to local charities.

Scott Manclark, who co-founded the company, says it's made a huge difference.

"It's given people, our volunteers, a purpose. Now they know people are supporting them by donating and that money going to community charities - it gives them that incentive to carry on."

Sir Roger Gale, the MP for North Thanet, says when it comes to littering, education needs to start at a young age.

"There are schemes that I'm involved in. They're designed to try and ensure the kids get into the habit of taking their rubbish home with them. And what we would like of course is for the kids to say to mum and dad 'hey you left that on the beach, take it home and put it in the bin.'"