Students concerned about the amount of litter and rubbish around New City College’s Arbour Square campus took matters into their own hands and organised a clean-up.
Students Anisha Hussain, Esther Hayward, Rahaman Bin Abdul Jalil and Ciara Driscoll, who all study at Attlee A Level Academy, in East London, suggested the Keep our Campus and Community Clean initiative and also volunteered to carry out the work!
The four rolled up their sleeves, cleaning the front of Arbour Square, sweeping the streets, gathering leaves and picking up discarded litter, drinks and food cartons.
Some of the litter collected will be used in a student art project that will encourage keeping the campus and local area clean.
Rahaman, 18, said the students first thought about a clean-up scheme after green initiatives were introduced at college.
He said: “There are multiple reasons why this initiative is important. We want to help maintain the local community environment as that will be beneficial to everyone. Also, it is good for us as young people to have our voice, ideas and opinions heard. There are some negative stereotypes about young people not caring about the environment and I feel this initiative will show fellow students and the wider community that we do care and we are ready to take action.
“Another reason for the initiative is because it highlights the importance of going green and being more eco-friendly. We want to strike a change in Tower Hamlets and have an impact.”
Esther, 16, added: “As young people it is our responsibility to create a world that we want to live in and we can do this by making more sustainable choices. If we start to make changes by creating a greener campus and local community, others will follow our example. Also, this initiative is encouraging leadership and teamwork skills which are transferable to all aspects in life and will be beneficial to us as individuals, the college and the community.”
The next clean-up is scheduled for Thursday 3 March and will expand to the Arbour Square Park, with 15 students signed up to take part.
Sulliman Peerbacos, Director of Attlee A Level Academy, said: “This is about reinforcing the importance of keeping our campus and local area clean, and building a harmonious community. We want students to take pride in the appearance of their campus and lead on more green initiatives around the college. We hope the initiative will be taken up across NCC campuses to encourage community cohesion and raise the public profile of NCC as a leader in youth social action.”