Clean for the Queen - join the UK's largest litter pick

Clean for the Queen.
Clean for the Queen.

Clean for The Queen launched a call today to volunteers to join the UK’s largest litter pick and help get your area looking its very best in the year of The Queen’s 90th birthday.

Celebrities, schoolchildren, army heroes and community leaders kick-started Clean for The Queen with a special clean-up at the Sir John Cass’s Foundation and Red Coat School, in Stepney. Afghanistan war hero Michael Swain MBE, Vicki Michelle, Tyger Drew Honey and various local dignitaries will be joining in the clean-up.

Michael Swain MBE said: "Having taken a vow to fight for Queen and Country, I'm keen to educate people about the importance of keeping the country in a fit and proper state of cleanliness."

Actress Vicki Michelle said: "I respect our Queen and our country and have instilled that in my daughter, Louise Michelle. It's so important that young people today appreciate and respect their community and surroundings."

Actor Tyger Drew-Honey said: "Helping launch this campaign to keep Britain tidy is a massive privilege for me. Our Queen is turning 90 this year and for me this is about us Brits learning to respect our streets just a little more; after all, we are the ones who walk them, and would you want to walk through a tip?".

Campaign director Adrian Evans wants to hear from individuals, groups, schools, companies, sports teams - anyone who is keen to pick up litter in their local communities, with the aim of attracting one million people during a special clean-up weekend on March 4, 5 and 6. The clean-up is being supported by a host of major businesses, charities, local authorities and schools.

People should go to Click here to register their interest in taking part and organising their own clean up. On the website people can find details of how to organise an event, how to get hold of equipment and information on our grot-spot and schools competitions.

Special edition ‘Clean for The Queen’ litter bags will be available from February onwards. Many local authorities will be able to provide the bags for collection free of charge. In addition, they’ll be available for free collection through selected branches of Costa and Waitrose across the country.

A recent survey conducted by Populus found that 90 per cent of respondents consider litter to be a massive issue, with 81 per cent saying that seeing litter makes them angry and frustrated. The Clean for The Queen event started off as a conversation between a handful of organisations, fed up with the continuing littering that affects the UK. Together, Country Life magazine, the Garfield Weston Foundation and the national charity Keep Britain Tidy, undertook to create the biggest clean up ever, with an ambition to get one million people engaged.

Adrian Evans said: “Our ambition is to create a community inspired, grass-roots mass action event – one that will become a recurring annual initiative. We feel that marking The Queen’s 90th birthday with the inaugural clean-up is a wonderful way to kick-start it to life.

"We want to show that millions of people in this country care passionately about the litter affecting the nation and are prepared to get out and do something about it. Everyone in this country will reap the benefits.”

Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive, Keep Britain Tidy, said: "We have worked hard to gather a considerable amount of support and backing from charities, community groups, local authorities and businesses. This is the first time that all of the anti-litter organisations have come together to support a UK-wide anti-litter campaign.”

Melissa Murdoch, trustee of the Garfield Weston Foundation, said: “By picking up one piece of litter, you will have made a difference. It would be great to have one million volunteers joining in to make a difference to their local areas right across the UK!”

Television presenter Kirstie Allsopp is backing the campaign. She said: “I know all too well from my travels around the country that there are places that could do with some TLC. I would urge everyone to get involved with Clean for The Queen.”

Environment Minister Rory Stewart said: “Everyone has a responsibility to keep their community tidy and this campaign provides us with a great chance to protect our wildlife and improve the quality of our streets and public spaces. I hope it will help lead to a lasting legacy of a cleaner, tidier Britain.”

National organisations including Keep Britain Tidy, Keep Scotland Beautiful, Keep Wales Tidy and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Country Life magazine, the RSPB, the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, Clean Up Britain, the Garfield Weston Foundation, and the CPRE, are all supporting the initiative. Clean for The Queen is being funded by generous donations from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Lund Trust and a number of private individuals. McDonalds, Greggs, Costa, Wrigley and KFC have also provided financial support and their employees will be taking part in the clean-up weekend.