2023 review

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2023 was another highly productive year for our growing band of volunteers.

In 2023 our members donated an astonishing 17,956 volunteer-hours to keep our environment clean – this is equivalent to the work of ten full-time street orderlies which, if paid for, would have cost nearly £300,000. We recorded the collection of 29,710 bags worth of rubbish, recyclables, leaves and large items that are too big to bag (we call these ‘unbaggables’). More details available here.

We have reported countless flytips and provided targeted intelligence to Ealing Council to enable them to prosecute flytippers.

In 2023 we held 132 group events, and individuals went out litter picking every single day.

Our volunteering was mainly in the London Borough of Ealing, but our work with Clean Up the River Brent (CURB) took us to the neighbouring boroughs of Brent, Barnet and Finchley, removing many tonnes of rubbish from the river and surrounding land.

Throughout 2023 we continued to support the fortnightly litter picks by Khalsa Primary School in Norwood Green. Khalsa started regular litter picking in July 2021, and were rewarded by winning Keep Britain Tidy’s Young Litter Heroes Award in 2022.We have since provided equipment and support to several more primary schools in the London Borough of Ealing. St Anselm’s RC Primary School and St Mary’s CofE Primary School were both rewarded with Team of the Year Awards from Southall Community Alliance in 2023. We are sure it is only a matter of time before St Gregory’s (Ealing), Dairy Meadow (Southall), Our Lady of the Visitation (Greenford), Hobbayne (Hanwell) and West Acton Primary Schools win awards for their wonderful work.

LAGER Can’s Duke of Edinburgh volunteering scheme for young people started with a handful of girls from Notting Hill and Ealing High School in Sept 2020, at the height of the Covid 19 pandemic. It soon spread through word of mouth to all our local schools. Our largest local cohort at the end of 2023 was from Ealing Fields High School. Supported by our DofE Coordinator we have spread our reach through social media – Instagram in particular – and have volunteers from Ealing to Edinburgh, Warwick to Wigan and Coventry to Cornwall. In total 245 young people have taken part in the DofE volunteering scheme with LAGER Can, including three gold level students.

We continued to support external events including Hanwell Carnival, Party in the Park, Acton Carnival, West London Music Festival, Norwood Green Village Day, Ealing Beer Festival Brentham Club Fireworks and Light up the Lane.  We are grateful to the organisers who have supported us in turn with generous donations..

Following our successes in Southall and Northolt in 2021 and 2022, in March 2023 we litter picked every road in Greenford as part of Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean.

We are grateful to the Canal and River Trust (and, importantly, their barge!) for hosting monthly cleanups along the towpath in Southall where, sadly, there is no sign of the rubbish abating.

We were invited to the Houses of Parliament to attend a Westminster Hall debate entitled Support for UK Litter Picking Groups, organised by Ealing-Southall MP and long-time LAGER Can supporter Virendra Sharma, who also called a flytipping summit meeting with Ealing Council officers, councillors, the CRT and the police in September.

Thanks to our having been the recipients of a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2021, members of LAGER Can had the honour of meeting His Majesty the King in December.

We would love to hear from any individual, group, school or business interested in helping to keep our environment clean and green. We will support you in any way we can.

Thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers and to our partners at Ealing Council, Greener Ealing, Good Gym and Green S Welfare UK who have supported our work.

Cathy Swift, Chair, LAGER Can

January 2024