BRIDGWATER residents are being invited this month (December, 2019) to volunteer to help clear litter along the canal and towpath with a community action group in the town.
Rage Against Rubbish organises canal cleaning events from the YMCA in Bridgwater and are calling for people to volunteer for its last litter pick of the year on Saturday, December 7.
Dan Perry from Rage Against Rubbish said: “What a year we have had! So many new volunteers throughout the year and great to see our regular volunteers also continuing to support us. We have had an amazing amount of support from the local community for our monthly litter picks and would like to thank each and every one of you.
“We host litter picks once a month and our last organised event for the year will take place on Saturday, December 7. We are always calling for more volunteers as the more hands we have the more litter we can collect. As this is our last litter pick before Christmas, Father Christmas hats, reindeer ears or festive jumpers are all welcome!
“Our litter pick will be held from 9.50am until 12.30pm from the YMCA in Bridgwater and we will follow the canal to the end of Taunton Road. We will paddle on the water and walk on the towpath and will collect rubbish as we go.
“We are advising everyone to wrap up warm and also wear waterproof clothing if you’re planning to be on the water. At our last litter pick in November we found a motorbike frame, a children’s toy house, clothing as well as the usual rubbish of drinks cans and glass bottles and the obligatory bike and scooter. Our litter picks are definitely making a difference.”
Rage Against Rubbish was formed by Dan Perry, his 10-year-old son Riley, Sarah Johnstone, Jason Winter and Trev Vass, all kayakers, who regularly paddle along the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal. They were fed-up with seeing vast amounts of rubbish and discarded items in the waterway.
Dan added: “We would love to see more people on the water and the YMCA are kindly offering us their double kayaks and Canadian canoes and life jackets for people to use free of charge. There are a limited number available so if people would like to use one for our next litter pick, please visit our website and fill in our boat booking form.”
Volunteers can also bring their own kayaks/canoes but they would need to also have a buoyancy aid and preferably public liability insurance, which is included with the British Canoe Membership.
Dan continued: “We aim to start at 10am sharp so if people wish to collect litter from the tow path, please arrive at 9.40am and for people who are borrowing equipment from the YMCA, please arrive at 9.30am. We will be doing a full briefing at 9.50am.
“We’re always looking for more volunteers and to entice people further The Purplespoon Café at the YMCA will give each volunteer who attends our litter pick 10% off hot food & hot drinks on December 7. We will hand out a voucher to each person when they sign on to the litter pick and it can be used before or after the event.”
The Inland Waterway Association (IWA) Somerset Volunteers support Rage Against Rubbish with its litter picks by supplying volunteers and a flat work boat with on-board rubbish, storage containers. The IWA volunteers also dispose of the rubbish removed from the canal and towpath.
Dan added: “No one is too old or young to join in, but we do ask that all children are supervised by adults. We can provide bin bags, bin hoops and litter pickers for people to use.”
The Bridgwater & Taunton Canal Litter Pick will take place on Saturday, December 7 from 9.50am until 12.30pm from YMCA George Williams Centre on Friarn Avenue in Bridgwater.