Groups of pupils from Berkhamsted School have been giving up their lunchtime to help keep Berkhamsted tidy. The volunteers have been litter picking twice a week throughout March. 

In a commitment to supporting the local community, pupils will often fill two or three bags full of rubbish from the High Street and surrounding roads. 

They are supported by staff volunteers who include teachers, support staff and even the Principal of the Schools Group has been keen to get involved. 

Recognition from local community

The miserable March weather that followed the unseasonably sunny February has not discouraged the volunteers. Local resident Kirsty Emmanuelle Lyzell shared on Facebook “I live in central town close to the Boys School and it’s so lovely to see the boys dressed in high vis with litter pickers, keeping the town clean. Well done for doing it in the high winds.”

Orlando Alexander was part of a group of Year 10 students who recently volunteered. They started at the train station and headed towards the scenic areas beside the canal endeding up at the High Street. 

Orlando said “I think everyone found it an enjoyable and valuable experience. For me, volunteering is the epitome of ‘Serving Others’one of our school values.

“You don’t necessarily sign up to volunteering thinking about the reward and recognition, it’s just a nice way to show respect for the local area and the community in Berkhamsted. However, I think it left everyone with a good feeling – knowing that you are making a difference to the community. It was very rewarding when several members of the public stopped to recognise our efforts.

Volunteers keep Berkhamsted beautiful

“There was a lot of rubbish that got stuck in the bushes and greenery along the canal. Most likely it had just been blown there in the recent storms. After a good team effort, we succeeded in removing a considerable amount, leaving everyone happy that we’ve played a part in keeping Berkhamsted clean and beautiful.

“At the end, we all went to buy our lunch at the local fish and chip shop, which was a nice treat!”

Berkhamsted’s Community Service Coordinator Kathryn Tomlin said “The litter picking project has been a great introduction to volunteering for our pupils. We have found that once a student experiences volunteering of any kind, they are often then keen to take up more opportunities.

“We also have a substantial volunteering programme for our Year 13s, where over 90 students participate in weekly placement.  Between the litter pickers and the placements, we can see how volunteering is a benefit to the pupils as well as the great impact it is having on the local community.”