In the heart of community-driven initiatives, The Burnside Centre stands as a shining example of how a Cleanup Hub can go beyond tidying up neighbourhoods. We chatted with Jim, Project Development Co-ordinator at the Burnside Centre, to understand their mission and the amazing impact they've had on bringing people in the community closer together.

Jim highlighted the primary motivation behind becoming a Cleanup Hub was to combat isolation by bringing people together and to improve the local community and surrounding environment. Facing increasing instances of anti-social behaviour, The Burnside Centre sought to unite people through collective efforts like litter picking. By dealing with the litter problem directly, they wanted to help residents feel in control of their community.

The Burnside Centre's motto is "Inspiring Change". They live up to it by organising many activities. From meetups, coffee and chat sessions, and peer mentoring to walking groups for all ages —there's something for everyone. The addition of litter picking was an added benefit and reflects their commitment to addressing community issues. 

Jim shared a heartening success story—a volunteer parent initiated a monthly litter pick in the local park to ensure a safer environment for children. Word spread, leading to multiple diverse families coming together for weekly litter picks. The result? Stronger friendships, more diverse participation, a clean play area for children, and a shared sense of pride in their community.

The Burnside Centre's efforts have made their community safer, with more people getting involved. Looking ahead, they want to create more litter picking groups, encourage people to borrow equipment, and come up with fun ideas to get more people involved, like playing Litter Lotto.

"Being thanked by residents lifts everyone's spirits."

In the words of Jim, "being thanked by residents lifts everyone's spirits." Larger group litter picks often attract inquiries and gratitude from passersby. But it's not just about keeping things clean; their lessons and posters about how litter affects health and practical solutions have also earned them appreciation from locals.

Jim expressed The Burnside Centre's satisfaction with being part of CleanupUK's network, praising the quality of evidence produced in litter picking statistics from around the country and in materials supplied. Looking forward, The Burnside Centre aspire to have a dedicated profile on the national platform to showcase their work. 

The Burnside Centre's journey as a Cleanup Hub is more than just about cleaning up. It's a great example of how getting the community involved can make a big difference. By tackling loneliness, promoting inclusivity, and offering diverse activities, the Burnside Centre has become a symbol of community spirit. Their work is inspiring for other hubs and communities that want to leave a lasting impact.

To see what The Burnside Centre has been up to, you can visit their profile here