Riverside Clean Up Launches New Project Group
A new community group dedicated to improving the riverside area of South Tyneside has launched with its first successful event on the banks of the Tyne.
The Riverside Project Group was set up by residents in January with the aim of helping to preserve and protect the riverside area. It recently kick-started its activity with a clean-up of the embankment near South Shields Ferry Landing, clearing 20 bags of plastic and debris. And then more recently, group members collected more than 20 food parcels for donation to the KEY2Life food bank.
Cllr Nancy Maxwell, Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Co-operatives at South Tyneside Council, said "It's fantastic to see people coming together to make such a positive impact in the local community. As a co-operative council, we are committed to working with, and empowering our, communities to deliver transformational change."
Paul Mossa, local resident and Chair of the Riverside Project Group said: "We are just a group of local people who are passionate about helping to look after and protect the riverside area and doing what we can to support our community.
"We set up the group with just a couple of members earlier this year and had decided to start off with a clean-up in the spring as the embankment was full of plastics, litter and debris, which could easily end up in the river and the sea. But then Covid stopped everything.
"Over that time though, we've gained more members and then saw more than 50 people turn out for our first event, which was absolutely fantastic. We've also had such a brilliant response from local organisations and businesses and can't thank them enough for their support."
The riverside clean-up event involved local councillors, Nexus Ferry crew and other volunteers from across the wider community.
South Tyneside Council provided PPE and the event was supported by the Port of Tyne Harbour Master which helped to ensure boats and speeding crafts kept their distance. Other organisations to provide support included Above the Action, Tyne and Wear Marine Ltd, Swiftwater Solutions Ltd, BlackTip Social, Taurus Eng Ltd and Colmans Seafood Temple.
Going forward, the Riverside Project Group is looking to organise more clean-up events as well as other ways to support the local community and fundraise for its chosen charity Mental Health Concern - Moving forward South Tyneside.
The group was inspired by the Borough's #LoveSouthTyneside campaign which was launched in February 2019 to celebrate civic pride, raise awareness of community events and volunteering opportunities and promote the area.
Cllr Maxwell said "The Riverside Project Group embraces the ethos of our #LoveSouthTyneside campaign with its enthusiasm for improving and supporting the local area. It's a brilliant example of local people, businesses and organisations coming together, taking pride in their environment and wanting to make a difference for the benefit of the wider community. We wish the group all the success for the future."
Find out more about #LoveSouthTyneside visit www.lovesouthtyneside.co.uk
For further information about Riverside Project Group and how to get involved, visit the group's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RiversideProjectGroup/