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Date: 3rd April 2019
Subject: A glorious day for a beach clean with The Final Straw Solent
On Monday 1st April, eleven Positive Pathways volunteers with two Community First members of staff, Kat and Beverley, attended a beach clean on Hayling Island Seafront with Lissie and Bianca from The Final Straw Solent.
The Final Straw Solent is a group comprised of people who are passionate about decreasing the amount of plastic entering our local seas. One of the biggest problems, they state on their website, is single-use items such as plastic straws, plastic bags and plastic packaging.
Positive Pathways is a Community First project working with local Havant Borough residents who need extra help to volunteer in their community, increasing participation in volunteering especially for those who are long term unemployed or who want to reconnect with their community but do not have the confidence to do it alone or have other support needs such as mild learning difficulties or recovering mental health.
Kat Baseley from Community First said “It was the first time that the Positive Pathways team had joined The Final Straw Solent in an activity on Hayling Island Beach. We managed to be very lucky with the weather as it was very warm and despite it being a little windy, it was a perfect opportunity to spend some time conserving the naturally stunning area. The volunteers appeared to really enjoy the activity and were committed to doing a thorough clean of the area.
Lissie showed us a device they use within their team called a “Nurdle Trommel”. The Nurdle Trommel is effectively a large sieve used to separate the different materials and mixtures found on the beach. Sand is sieved out of the drum and anything larger such as small pieces of plastic or small stones fall through the mesh to then be sorted through by hand. The Final Straw Solent were able to buy the device after joint fundraising with the Litter Pick Chicks and it makes sorting through the small pieces of plastic, sand and shingle a lot easier. A few of the volunteers had a go at turning the handle on the Trommel and it initially looked a bit daunting! After using it a few times, the volunteers got the hang of it and began to have fun showing each other how to use it, too.”
At the end of the clean, the bags of various items and rubbish collected from the beachfront were weighed by Lissie. Project Assistant Beverley said, “We managed to collect 30 kg of rubbish between 14 people in a matter of a few hours and some of the items were truly surprising to find, to say the least! Items such as a baby’s dummy, a padlock, bottle caps, packaging, plastic straws, parts of fishing nets, plus more items that should not be there. It goes to show how prolific the issue is with plastic and unwanted rubbish on our beaches!”
Lissie Pollard, Co-Director of the Final Straw Solent, was pleased with the amount of litter collected. “It’s great to work with the volunteers from Positive Pathways, they were all enthusiastic to collect as much rubbish as they could and make a difference to our local shores. It’s so important for members of the community to be aware of the issues we face with plastic pollution in our local waterways and seas, it is a huge problem all around the British coastline. Collecting 30kg of rubbish in a couple of hours with a small team was no mean feat, so we’d like to thank each and every one of the volunteers that took part.”
Beverley went on to say, “Thank you very much to Lissie and Bianca for supporting our volunteers for an informative activity and for explaining so passionately how we can join the fight in protecting our environment. Activities such as these really do help; if we all found pieces of rubbish on the beach that really should not be there and discard of them safely and properly, we could all help protect our coastlines for decades to come. Well done to our volunteers for working hard on Monday and we hope to join Lissie and Bianca again in the Summer for another brilliant activity”.
For more information about The Final Straw Solent and their events in the area, please visit https://finalstrawsolent.org/.
For more information about the Positive Pathways Programme and information about how to refer to the programme, please visit https://www.cfirst.org.uk/positivepathways/ or call 02393 873 808.
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