South Shields beaches blitzed by volunteer army as part of efforts highlighted on World Ocean Day

An army of volunteer water workers have been taking time out of their days to do beach cleans in support of World Oceans Day.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 11:34 am
Northumbrian Water teams have been working to clean-up beaches in South Shields and across the North East

More than 200 Northumbrian Water Group volunteers are rolled up their sleeves up to tackle any rubbish accumulated on beauty spots to play their part in reducing the amount of litter entering our seas.

The action was launched to mark World Oceans Day on June 8, which sees projects carried out across all continents to highlight the global issue of marine litter and help promote healthier oceans.

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Sandhaven Beach.

The issue of waste in our oceans, particularly the harmful effects of plastic entering our seas and oceans, has been growing in prominence in recent years, with many leaders and companies vowing to tackle the ‘scourge’.

Dale Cullen, who is one of Northumbrian Water’s beach clean organisers, said: “It feels so good to be involved in this team event and I feel proud having co-ordinated one of the beach cleans at South Shields, where we are working in partnership with South Tyneside Council and South Tyneside Homes.

“We’re all looking forward to seeing faces we perhaps haven’t seen in a while due to the pandemic, which will be a great opportunity for everyone to team build and catch up – while doing something really rewarding at the same time for the environment.”

The company’s employee volunteering programme, Just an Hour, supports its people to give a minimum of 15 hours every year to help community and charitable causes close to their hearts.

Dale added: “It’s fantastic to be supported by Northumbrian Water to volunteer for good causes and I love being involved in the company’s Just an Hour programme. It’s a great place to work and a great programme. We’re always looking for new volunteering opportunities in our local communities to support, so I’d urge groups or organisations to get in touch if they have any.”

Northumbrian Water’s director of corporate affairs, Louise Hunter, said: “I’m thrilled with the number of our people turning up to help out through our employee volunteering programme - taking part in more than 15 team beach cleans across our operating areas and providing over one thousand people hours to help clean up our environment.

“Our people have worked throughout the pandemic to help keep our customers’ water flowing and toilets flushing, and many haven’t been able to see their colleagues face-to-face in over a year. Our volunteering programme is a fantastic way for our people to take some time out of their busy schedules, catch up with their co-workers in a safe way, all whilst doing something great for their local communities.

“Supporting our communities and protecting our environment is at the heart of what we do – and we’re really blessed to have some of the best beaches in the country. We can all do our bit to keep our beaches and bathing waters as pristine as we possibly can, and you can do that by taking your rubbish home and not using your toilet as a bin – Bin the Wipe.”

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