As part of our series on ‘Sustainable, Clean and Creative Balsall Heath’ we feature Cannon Hill Litterpickers, who have come together to make a tangible difference to the streets of Balsall Heath West. Andy Jenkins, a local resident and founder member shares this report on their work.
Cannon Hill Litterpickers began in early 2020 when a small group of local residents shared concerns about how the amount of litter on the streets in West Balsall Heath gave a very negative impression of the area. Development was slowed by Covid 19 lockdowns but with the support of Izzy Knowles and Moseley Litterbusters, equipment was gathered together and regular litterpicking in the area around Edward Road, Willows Road, Edgbaston Road and Eastwood Road began.
Since the beginning of 2021, with a mix of group and individual activity, 307 bags of rubbish have been collected by our volunteers. Often using the ‘Fix My Street’ app, a wide range of fly tipping has been reported and dealt with via Birmingham City Council. Good working relationships have been established with Council staff including the Cleaner Greener Streets team. Local councillor Zhor Malik has offered active support especially in addressing longstanding litter issues around Edward Road shops.
A recent highpoint of the group’s work was the Clean The Green Spaces event on 20th June focused in and around Calthorpe Park. There was a great volunteer turnout and in one session 47 bags of rubbish, including items of some vintage, were gathered up.
We have around 10 active members with other residents offering support. Only a part of West Balsall Heath is covered by the team and it would be great to recruit more volunteers to expand into areas such as the Balsall Heath Road estate and Mary Street / Tindal Street areas. Luckily with Council support we are in a position to offer volunteers loan of equipment such as pickers, bag holders, gloves etc.
The group has an active Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/Cannon-Hill-Litterpickers-101531342126632 through which anyone can message us. Everyone is very welcome to join the efforts to keep Balsall Heath West looking its best.
Sustainable, Clean and Creative Balsall Heath is a series of portraits of local people and projects supported with funding from The Active Wellbeing Society.