UPDATED Tuesday, October 15.
MOST people who took part in Reading RESCUE last weekend would be content to have collected some crisp packets and empty Coke cans. But for one participant they had a very surprising find: a Samurai sword.
Park Ward councillor Jamie Whitham found the ceremonial sword while helping to clear away fly tipping from an alley in Newtown on Saturday.
He was taking part in the annual autumn clean-up organised by Reading Borough Council.
In 15 sites around town, over 100 people worked for a total of 448 hours picking up rubbish and clearing debris. In addition to the usual cans, bottles and wrappers, three lawn mowers, motor bike parts and shopping trolleys. Volunteers working with the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust pulled out a commercial sized bin from the water at County Lock.
35 students from the University of Reading joined Redlands GLOBE (Go Local on a Better Environment) and other groups to clear up their neighbourhood as part of the University’s Big Volunteering Weekend.
New groups involved this year included the Reading Hilton, financial information services company Markit and the First Earley Guides and Rangers.
It was sponsored by Thames Water and the Council provided bags and gloves for the volunteers.
Jamie said: “Reading RESCUE went really well in East Reading on Saturday. There were a few teams out, making a difference, tidying up the Thames Side, Kennet Side and in the residential areas. I helped clear some fly tipping from an alley in Newtown and was surprised to find an ornamental Samurai sword.
“After we had finished it was very satisfying to see the area looking much better and a big pile of rubbish for the Council to take away. Thanks to everyone who took part and to the organisers.”
Liz Terry, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods said: ‘Reading RESCUE is a valuable event for the borough – annually we have around 500 volunteers taking part to keep their local areas clear of rubbish for everyone to enjoy. And this popular event isn’t just about litter, it brings communities together to make a positive difference to where they live.”
Thames Water spokesperson Stuart White said: “We are always proud to support Reading Rescue and help improve the environment we live and work in.
“The volunteers, including our teams, who go out with litter-pickers and bin bags enjoy helping their community and the feeling of achievement is well worth it. It really does make a difference, and some of the things people find are incredible.”
Neeti Bindra, Community Investment Co-ordinator from Thames Water, said: “ReadingRESCUE is a great community event that our staff love to get involved with every year. We are really pleased to be sponsoring the clean up.”
For more details, log on to www.readingrescue.org.uk
Read 228 times Last modified on Tuesday, 15 October 2013 08:47