A CHARITY has been tidying areas in East Renfrewshire as part of a clean-up campaign.

Include Me 2 Club, which supports children, young people and adults with additional support needs and disabilities, teamed up with Asda’s Newton Mearns branch as part of their Team Up 2 Clean Up initiative.

The team at the Barrhead-based charity had become increasingly frustrated by the amount of rubbish being dumped on the streets in the community.

And in response, more than 10 volunteers have got involved with the litter-picks each week, staged throughout East Renfrewshire, including Barrhead’s Main Street, and the Dams to Darnley Country Park walk.

Paul McIlvenny, the chairperson of IM2C, told the Barrhead News: “This initiative came about through two of our young volunteers, who had been social active during the pandemic, whilst encouraging others to take part.

“It resulted in the charity gaining funds from YouthScotland, which allowed us to purchase 40 sets of litter picking equipment, so that we could both host, and loan the equipment to others in the community.

“The Team Up 2 Clean Up was originally initiated by three areas – Rouken Glen Park, Barrhead’s Main Street and Carlibar Park area and the Dams to Darnley trail – we chose these areas as they were identified as known places to have visible litter.”

The initiative has not only had a positive effect on the area for removing rubbish from the streets, but it has also seen a positive effect on mental health.

“It is a really good social connector – it brings walking and talking together,” Paul added. 

“With one of the members that took part, it helped her open up with some of the challenges she was facing and it made her want to be more involved within Include Me 2 Club.

“Ultimately, it’s been easy for litter to gather in the towns, and bins have sadly been over flowing. It’s been positive that this initiative has been brought around by young people, taking action in their community.

“I am pleased that Include Me 2 Club can be the conduit for that to happen.”

For more information, or to get involved with the charity’s litter picking initiative, email info@includeme2club.org.uk.