Litter picking Nan turns 90!

Published Tuesday 8 June 2021 at 14:01

Many happy returns to volunteer litter picker Nan Smith who celebrates her 90th birthday this week.

Nan has been litter picking in the Little Harwood area of Blackburn for a number of years.  She received a free litter picking kit from the Council and puts the rubbish she finds into red bags, which are collected by the Council’s street cleansing team.

Nan likes to keep active and goes out litter picking most days if the weather permits, usually tying it in with a walk with her friend, Zarina Seedat.  She hates to see litter in her local area and thinks that people should take more pride in where they live.  She said:

I like keeping my street tidy.  Some people say ‘it’s not my job, I’m not picking that up’.  Some people aren’t willing, but some are.  If more people were like me it would be a lot tidier.  Older people should be encouraged to do things, some people don’t leave the house, I think it’s better to be out doing something rather than sitting around.

Cllr Jim Smith, Executive Member for Environment at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, said

I’d like to thank Nan and all of the volunteer litter pickers across Blackburn and Darwen for their hard work. They do a fantastic job and show real pride in where they live.  They’re making a big difference to our communities.  As part of the Great British Spring Clean we’re encouraging more people to help clean up their local areas.  If you’d like to get involved you can apply for a free litter picking kit on the Lancashire Volunteer Partnership website.

Taking care of our communities is becoming ever more popular in Blackburn with Darwen.  The local Keep It Tidy groups, Keep Blackburn Tidy and Keep Darwen Tidy, have nearly 2000 volunteers, who between them have volunteered over 3400 hours since April 2020, working hard across the borough to do their bit to help keep their local areas clean and tidy.

If you’d like to get involved why not take part in Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean campaign, which runs from 28 May – 13 June.  Could you pledge to do a litter pick and become one of the campaign’s #Litterheroes, and help them reach their #MillionMileMission of over a million miles of litter picking?

If you’d like to organise a clean up in your community, the Council can help out by lending you equipment. We can also give you advice on staying safe and publicising your event.  To find out more visit:

If you know of a litter picker in your local area that deserves recognition for their hard work, why not nominate them for a Community Heroes award?  The closing date for nominations is 27 August.

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