Serving the local community is important to a primary school in Peterlee – and now they can hold regular litter picks thanks to a £500 grant. Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School, which is part of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, successfully applied for a Believe Housing community grant to buy litter-picking equipment for the school.

The project has the two-fold benefits of supporting the health and wellbeing of the school’s pupils and helping to keep the local community litter-free.

Science lead and Year 2 teacher Susan Jones and teaching assistant Marguerite Elrick will lead the OLOTR Litter Pickers group, which will organise a litter pick every half-term within walking distance of the school.

The funding will purchase litter-picking equipment for 10 children. Last July, the school was also granted a £500 Muddy Faces award from Washington Wetlands Trust, which they will use to buy additional litter-picking equipment.

This project will educate the younger generation and their families about the importance of picking up litter and the impact of litter on the local and wider environment,” said Mrs Jones.

Peterlee has a lot of shops, schools and people walking and driving through, so keeping Peterlee tidy is important. We will work closely with Peterlee White Watch who have stressed their interest in supporting us with community projects that care for the local environment.

We already go to Crimdon Beach to carry out beach cleans twice a year, but the children are keen to do the same on their doorstep. We will develop community links by involving parents, grandparents and carers in this project and run an after-school club using this equipment purchased to tidy the school grounds. As a Catholic school, our mission is ‘Christ at the centre, children at the heart’ and spending our time to plan and carry out this project will be something we would love to do from the heart.

The Year 2 children were very excited when they were told that the school was buying new litter-picking equipment and cannot wait to get started with their new high-vis vests and graptor litter-pickers.

Poppie Manuel, seven, a Year 2 pupil, said: “I always see litter around Peterlee, so I think we’ll be really busy when our litter-pickers come.

Seven-year-old Zendy Warambwa, who is in Year 2, said: “I went to Crimdon Beach with my Mam at the weekend, so I could pick up litter because I don’t want it to go in the sea and hurt the animals. I can’t wait to do it again.

Wilson Tough, seven, also in Year 2, said: “I got a litter-picker for my birthday, and I picked up litter where I live. My brother held the bag for me, so I could put the rubbish in it.

For more information, please visit: www.bccet.org.uk/.

Press release issued by SASS media on behalf of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust. For more information, contact Sarah Dale on 07814 976582.