The acts of kindness shown to refuse collectors across the West Country as they carry out their vital work

While most of us have been staying at home, work has got a lot harder for our refuse collectors who are key workers.

But people have been finding new and imaginative ways to show their support for those who continue to work during the COVID19 lockdown.

People in a group in Cornwall have also been inspired to keep spirits high by putting out their bins, and do other household chores, wearing ball gowns.

For refuse collectors, rounds are longer than ever at the moment due to people having clear outs during lockdown.

Helping them on their way has been the support of the public.

Lee Osborne from Cornwall says he's been touched by the appreciation as him and his team do their bit to keep us all safe.

He told ITV News how locals have been showering them with 'good will gestures'.

People have been bringing biscuits out, easter eggs even! It's brilliant. Everybody just comes together.

Lee Osborne, refuse collector
People are clearing their rubbish at a higher rate than usual whilst in lockdown. Credit: ITV West Country

Lee works in a team of two with long rounds where they travel together. But health and safety is still key and they remain at a safe distance.

We'll still say, you know, keep two metres away because we've got to protect ourselves and protect the residents as well.

Lee Osborne, refuse collector

He says he cleans and sanitises the inside of his cab to make it as safe as it can be, and keeps this up throughout the day.

A Facebook group set up in Cornwall has also encouraged keeping spirits high by suggesting people put their bins out in a ballgown.

Thousands of people across the world have taken to the trend to spread some lighthearted fun during the coronavirus crisis.

‘Put Your Bins Out In Your Ball Gown’ was set up by Angie Emrys-Jones after an award ceremony she was going to was cancelled. The group now has 13,000 members.

Heart Radio presenter, Amanda Holden, even took part.

ITV West Country's own reporter, Jacquie Bird, was also one of the thousands who took their ballgowns out of the cupboard.