Schoolchildren joined in to help local community groups give their housing estate a major spring clean.
The team’s litter picking efforts ensured the Peulwys estate in Llysfaen was left spic and span and they were rewarded with some well-earned bacon butties at the community centre after they finished.
The operation was spearheaded by community regeneration manager Owen Veldhuizen and community engagement coordinator Vinny Murtagh from the Cartrefi Conwy housing association who manage the estate.
It was organised as part of Keep Wales Tidy’s Spring Clean Cymru campaign.
Codie-Lea Smith, 10, a pupil of Ysgol Swn y Don, took part in the spring clean declared it a really cool idea.
She said: “It’s been ace. Everyone has worked really hard and collected loads of litter even sweets papers. It makes things better. I never knew how much litter there was until you look.”
Fellow pupil Alishia Tierney, 10, added: “It’s fun and being out with my mum and my friends picking up litter is a good thing.
“It makes the estate look better and cleaner and its safer for small children too. I think we should do it regularly but it would be better if people didn’t drop litter in the first place.”
Senior teacher Eileen Salter also turned out to help and said she was pleased to see so many children playing their part in the spring clean.
She said: “It’s good to see so many children and families working together. We will have a follow-up assembly at school, in around four weeks, and discuss the litter pick, how good it was and the impact it has had.
“We continue to drive the message home that we all need to play a part in looking after the environment whether that’s recycling or making sure litter isn’t left thrown about.”
Owen Veldhuizen said: “It’s been an amazing turn-out by the community, more than 40 people, and shows what working closely with the community can achieve.
“It’s great seeing so many children turn out with their parents. If we can change attitudes to litter and waste and continue to instil pride in the housing estate we are doing something right.
“I’m really proud of what we have achieved on the Peulwys estate. The difference is there for all to see. This is now a place and a community where people want to live and put down roots.”
Vinny added: “I only started my role with Cartrefi Conwy in January and I have been working closely with pupils of Ysgol Swn y Don and I’m delighted to see so many of them turn-out and take part in this spring clean event.
“It’s clear people are now taking pride in the Peulwys estate and want to see their environment improved.
“I couldn’t be more delighted at the numbers that have turned out and the amount of litter and rubbish we have picked up.”
Project officer for Keep Wales Tidy, Gwyl Roche said: “This spring clean will make a big difference and from what I understand, litter picks and community clean-ups are going to be regular events here on the Peulwys estate.”
Ray Mather, who chairs the Peulwys estate’s Go Green Group, said: “It’s fantastic to see the community spirit and everyone working hard to clean up litter and rubbish from the streets and play areas.
“There is a lot of community spirit now and tenants are taking a pride in the community and area where they live.
“The Go Green Group is working with Cartrefi Conwy to get some land which we can use as a community asset and on which we can grow vegetables and other produce that will benefit the community.”
Tracey Rosean, who chairs the estate’s Heart Of Group, said: “We provide nature, art and play activities for young people on the estate and can say that, without doubt, there is a lot more pride in the Peulwys Estate now than there has ever been.
“There are still on-going challenges, we all know that, but there are a lot more safe places for children to play and people are happier with their environment. There has been a great deal of change and it’s worked for the better.”
Stephanie Thomas, chairs the Peulwys and District Partnership Board and picked up litter with her two children, Lowry, 12, and Morgan 11.
She said: “I have lived on the Peulwys estate for five years and in that time we have seen big changes that have improved the estate for everyone.
“It’s an amazing place to live and everyone is now taking pride in the community. I’m thrilled so many people have turned out to help with the spring clean and the idea now is that we will hold monthly events.
“We plan to hold more litter picks in response to social media comments and reports of say broken glass and high volumes of litter.”
She added: “We are working closely with Ysgol Swn-y-Don to ensure pupils know what is going on and how to get involved in clean ups and litter picks. It’s also a great way for children to work alongside adults.”
Sally Tierney who is treasurer of the Peulwys and District Partnership Board as well as being the estate’s community centre caretaker, said: “The turn-out has been fantastic and it’s great to see. I’m just pleased to see so many children getting stuck in.
“If we can make children understand that leaving litter and broken glass around the place is bad for everyone that has to be a good thing.”