Undeterred by morning showers, a crowd of 45 volunteers joined Friends of Ryde Town Hall (FORTH), the Ryde Business Association and Ryde Town Council to pick litter in and around Ryde town centre today (Monday 8th May), as part of The Big Help Out day of service. Their hard work filled 60 bags of rubbish which were disposed of by Ryde Town Council staff.
FORTH founding member Anmarie Bowler welcomed volunteers assembled outside of Ryde Town Hall and Theatre, reminding everyone that the foundation stone for the building was laid by John Lind in May of 1830. She updated volunteers on FORTH’s efforts to rally support for returning the Town Hall to public use before the group got to work.
“All the volunteers were so upbeat and we all really enjoyed pitching in. Thank you to everyone who helped out,” said FORTH Chair Zoë Barker. “This was such a success we’d like to do it again. It could become an annual event on or near the 14th of May, marking the anniversary of the Town Hall’s foundation.”
Volunteers included Ryde Mayor Michael Lilley and Ryde Town Councillors Diana Conyers and Richard May. The Star Coffee & Ale House, Costa Coffee, Pickle & Dill, The Wonky Goat and Crepe Lovers provided free coffee vouchers for everyone who took part. Matt Whittaker, Director of Keert was on hand to help move heavy rubbish sacks to the collection point via a delivery bike. Ryde Library and Ryde Town Council provided hand-held litter pickers and bag hoops. Co-op Ryde donated plastic sacks and Co-op Member Pioneer for Ryde and Sandown Donna Newnham provided high quality gloves. Hover Travel loaned high-vis vests used on the day.
“Ryde Business Association was very happy to be involved in this community event. It was great to meet so many people of all ages willing to give of their time. What a brilliant way to finish off a weekend of celebrations,” said Rob Madigan, owner of The Star Coffee & Ale House and Chairman of the RBA.
The Town Council would like to give a BIG thank you to all the volunteers whose hard work filled 60 bags of rubbish. Your efforts have made a significant impact in keeping the streets of Ryde clean and beautiful. This initiative has set an excellent example for the community, and it is inspiring to see people come together to make a positive difference. We believe that events like this are instrumental in building a sense of community and encouraging individuals to take responsibility for their surroundings.