Over 10,000 plastic bottles removed already this year

We have already picked 10,000 plastic bottles along the estuary this year. This is the first time we have picked so many bottles in less than a 3 month period… more proof that what we are doing is really important.

Following DP World London Gateway’s decision to stop any external meetings by their employees, their involvement in the litter picking event on Wednesday has reluctantly been withdrawn.

On Wednesday Jamie from the RSPB will be holding an event starting at 10:00am at the Visitor Centre. So rather than run two events I suggest we all support the RSPB event. They will be picking along the foreshore lower path and on the reed beds.

Please contact the RSPB if you plan to attend so they can ensure the right amount of equipment etc. Hope you can join us on Wednesday, I will bring the good weather!

Currently Thurrock has no known cases of the virus, but to reduce the risk of contamination may I suggest you bring your own gloves and you ensure you wash your hands before and after the event. Also consider the 2 metre distance where possible during the event.

Wednesday 18th March – meeting at RSPB Rainham Marshes Centre in Purfleet RM19 1SZ at 10:00. This is an RSPB organised and run event. Please make sure you register your interest with the RSPB before attending on 01708 899851.

Other events are currently continuing as planned, if this changes I will advise.

Wednesday 25th March – meeting at old St Clements Church RM20 4AL at 10:30 to 13:30. We will be picking along the Graffiti Wall. This event will include up to 4 miles walking so comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended. This is an adult only Thames21 River Action Group event and forms part of the Great British Spring Clean.

Wednesday 1st April – meeting at St. Margaret’s Avenue SS17 0SH to pick Mucking Creek at 10:30 to 13:30. This is an adult only Thames21 River Action Group event and forms part of the Great British Spring Clean.

Sunday 5th April – meeting at Grays Yacht Club RM17 6JF at 10:30 to 12:00 followed by free refreshments in the café. Grays Beachcombers is a monthly Thames21 River Action Group family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 6 years and older. On this occasion it forms part of the Great British Spring Clean.

Wednesday 22nd April – as part of Earth Day 2020 we will be meeting at Grays Thurrock Yacht Club RM17 6JF at 10:30 to 12:30. This is an adult only Thames21 River Action Group event in partnership with Tilbury Green Power Station employees.

50 bags of Rubbish from Grays Beach

Another massive haul at Grays Beach on Sunday morning where 28 of us picked up 50 sacks of rubbish including 247 plastic bottles and 2 bags of plastic gems for use in a mandala to be constructed in Grays in July by Kinetika during this years T100. (More details to follow nearer the time.)

Upcoming Events

Thursday 5th March – meeting at Purfleet Railway Station RM19 1PP at 10:30 to 12:30. We will be picking primarily plastic bottles on the other side of the seawall and bringing them back to the road for collection. This event will include climbing fixed ladders over the 2m high seawall so comfortable walking shoes/boots are essential. This is an adult only Thames21 River Action Group event. 

Friday 6th March – meeting at RSPB Rainham Marshes Centre in Purfleet RM19 1SZ at 10:00 to 13:00. This is a Plastic Pollution – Seashore Guardian Beach organised and run event. Please make sure you register your interest with the RSPB before attending. 01708 899851 or rainham.marshes@rspb.org.uk .

Friday 13th March – meeting at old St Clements Church RM20 4AL at 10:00 to 14:00. We will be picking along to the QE2 Bridge with Coca Cola employees. This event will include up to 4 miles walking so comfortable walking shoes/boots are essential. This is an adult only Thames21 River Action Group event. 

Saturday 14th March – meeting in John Street RM17 6ED at 09:00 to 12:00. This is the regular Orchard Forum back alley clean-up. All welcome especially local residents.

Wednesday 18th March – DP World Event – meeting at RSPB Rainham Marshes Centre in Purfleet RM19 1SZ at 10:00 to 15:30. Like last year DP World employees are going to us, this time at the RSPB centre. Feel free to pop along for just some of the event.

Wednesday 25th March – meeting at old St Clements Church RM20 4AL at 10:30 to 13:30. We will be picking along the Graffiti Wall. This event will include up to 4 miles walking so comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended. This is an adult only Thames21 River Action Group event and forms part of the Great British Spring Clean. 

Wednesday 1st April – meeting at St. Margaret’s Avenue SS17 0SH to pick Mucking Creek at 10:30 to 13:30. This is an adult only Thames21 River Action Group event and forms part of the Great British Spring Clean.

Sunday 5th April – meeting at Grays Yacht Club RM17 6JF at 10:30 to 12:00 followed by free refreshments in the café. Grays Beachcombers is a monthly Thames21 River Action Group family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 6 years and older. On this occasion it forms part of the Great British Spring Clean.

Wednesday 22nd April – as part of Earth Day 2020 we will be meeting at Grays Thurrock Yacht Club RM17 6JF at 10:30 to 12:30. This is an adult only Thames21 River Action Group event in partnership with Tilbury Green Power Station employees

Kara and Creative Generations

The pilot programme run with Thameside Primary School and Frederick Andrews Court sheltered housing complex.

Kara took part in our Thurrock Social Entrepreneurship Programme, and Thurrock Soup. She later joined the London based  Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme in October 2019.

Loneliness and isolation in the UK doesn’t just affect the ageing population. According to the Office for National Statistics, 1 in 10 children also experience loneliness. Kara’s work as an artist and tutor in her local community helped her to discover that inter-generational interactions and creativity can help the well-being of both children and older people. “Probably from my own isolation and from seeing that in my grandparents, I knew I wanted to help people to feel less alone,” Kara reflects.

Kara set up Creative Generations to bring her idea to life, using her skills and passion for all things creative. The social enterprise offers art workshops for children and the older community to help them to see past their differences, connect through story-telling and creativity, and feel more valued in their communities as a result.

Kara was taking part in the Thurrock Social Entrepreneurship Programme when she decided to present her idea by pitching at Thurrock Soup, which gives local people an opportunity to win some start-up money. The idea of Creative Generations caught everyone’s imagination and Kara won the cash on the evening and went on to successfully be awarded a grant from the UnLtd fund. 

Sheltered housing residents and school children in Thurrock have been taking part in intergenerational workshops with Creative Generations to boost their connections within the community.  The intergenerational scheme was initially piloted in June 2019 with students from Thameside Primary School and residents at Frederick Andrews Court in Grays. Since then, Corringham’s Bellmaine Avenue Sheltered Housing residents and children from Corringham Primary School have also benefited from the workshops.

Residents at Vigerons Way Sheltered Housing complex, Grays, have spent an hour each week for the past month with students from Herringham Primary Academy working together and exploring a range of topics using art techniques such as drawing and collages. At the end of each session, the children and residents present what they have made and learnt to the rest of the class.

So far, two groups of school children at Herringham Primary Academy have benefited from the schemes at Vigerons Way. A number of children who took part in the workshops before Christmas recently visited residents with their parents to enjoy a special afternoon tea.

Cllr Barry Johnson, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “It’s fantastic to see older and younger members of our community being creative together and discovering what they have in common. The techniques used in these workshops not only make outstanding artwork, but helps the children in their learning and storytelling.

“The afternoon tea was another lovely idea and really highlighted to the parents the great work that the children and sheltered housing residents have been doing together, as well as see the connections formed.”

Margaret Cullwick, a resident at Vigerons Way Sheltered Housing, said: “I’ve really enjoyed the sessions with the little ones and it’s been really good fun. The children always ask lots of questions, particularly about the differences between when we were at school compared to their school life today.”

Nine-year-old Maddie Davis from Herringham Primary Academy, added: “The best part of the week was leaving school to go see Betty and draw together.”

Kara Thompson, artist and tutor at Creative Generations, said: “Giving the children and older adults this unique space to talk and learn together has been incredibly successful. We see their confidence and skills grow with every workshop, plus across the ages they build a sense of connection and appreciation with their local community. You only have to hear the excitable chatter at the workshops to understand that bringing these age groups together is of huge value to both children and older adults.”

Residents at Vigerons Way Sheltered Housing complex, Grays, with students from Herringham Primary Academy PLus of Course Kara

Dates for litter picks

Following on from a great pick around the small carpark at the Rainham RSPB centre, I’m pleased to advise our next event is at the Graffiti Wall in West Thurrock on 25th January, details below.If you have not taken a look at the graffiti wall paintings before, why not come along and have a look at them.

Saturday 25th January – meeting at old St Clements Church RM20 4AL at 10:30 to 13:30. We will be picking along the Graffiti Wall. This is a family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 8 years and older. This event will include up to 3 miles walking so comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended. This is a river based Badged Thames21 event.

Sunday 2nd February – meeting at Grays Yacht Club RM17 6JF at 10:30 to 12:00 followed by free refreshments in the café. This is the Grays Beachcombers regular monthly pick. This is a family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 6 years and older and is a river based Badged Thames21 event

Saturday 8th February – meeting in Salisbury Road RM17 6DQ at 09:00 to 12:00. This is the regular Orchard Forum back alley clean-up. All welcome especially local residents.

Saturday 8th February – meeting at RSPB Rainham Marshes Centre in Purfleet RM19 1SZ at 10:15 to 12:30. This is an RSPB organised and run event. Please make sure you register your interest with the RSPB before attending. 01708 899851 or rainham.marshes@rspb.org.uk This event will especially suit young (and us older) Eco Warriors! Parents don’t forget to bring the binoculars.

Wednesday 12th February – meeting at the Wharf Hotel, Wharf Road South, RM17 5YX at 10:30 to 13:00. We will be picking rubbish from along the foreshore. This adult only event will include up to 2 miles walking so comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended.

Saturday 22nd February – meeting at the Riverside Carpark at the Concrete Barges Rainham, RM13 9YQ at 10:30 to 13:30. We will be picking rubbish from along the foreshore and the reed beds. This is a family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 8 years and older. This is a river based Badged Thames21 event.

Sunday 1st March – meeting at Grays Yacht Club RM17 6JF at 10:30 to 12:00 followed by free refreshments in the café. This is the Grays Beachcombers regular monthly pick. This is a family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 6 years and older and is a river based Badged Thames21 event.

International Mental Health Day in Grays Town Centre

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day and Reach Out for Mental Health was in Grays Shopping Centre offering somewhere comfy to sit and chat.

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people sitting and indoor

I would like to thank Simon and Ben from the shopping centre, The Break Bar and TRUP for the loan of the furniture, a number of Local Area Coordinators and everyone who stopped for a chat!

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Litter Pickers in action October 2019

I think autumn has arrived!

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoorFollowing the storm last week, on Sunday 33 pickers collected over 1,031 plastic bottles in 58 sacks. Thanks to all who turned up on what threatened to be a very wet morning.

Having reviewed the foreshore at the RSPB Rainham it’s been decided we need a good litter pick from the small car park in Coldharbour Lane on Tuesday morning at 10:30 to 13:00. (Pass the Riverside Carpark and continue driving past with the landfill on your right hand side). This is an area outside of the RSPB area. Once again there wImage may contain: plant and outdoorill be lots of bottles to count, look forward to seeing you there.

Future dates for your diary
Tuesday 15th October – meeting at small carpark at end of Coldharbour Lane, Rainham RM13 3BJ from 10:30 to 13:00. Alternatively, park in the RSPB centre in Purfleet and walk west towards Rainham. Nearest train station Purfleet and follow signs to RSPB.
Wednesday 23rd October – meeting at old St Clements Church RM20 4AL from 10:30 to 13:00. This will be a “walk and pick” event that will include 4 miles w
alking.

Sunday 3rd November – meeting at Grays Yacht Club RM17 6JF from 10:30 to 12:00 followed by free refreshments in the café. This is the Grays Beachcombers regular monthly pick. This is a family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 6 years and older.
Regards
Steve catchpole
Waterway Clean Up Facilitator
07922 480 528

Soup Oct 2019

hurrock Soup last week-A fantastic event with over 40 people and 6 pitchers with some great ideas to make Grays even better!
Claire Prosho-Claire’s Trans Talks was the runaway winner and will be receiving £250 including £100 sponsorship from Enterprise Training Academy!

Beachcombers October

Sunday 6th October – meeting at Grays Yacht Club RM17 6JF from 09:30 to 12:00 followed by free refreshments in the café. This is the Grays Beachcombers regular monthly pick. This is a family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 6 years and older. – updated timing for this month’s event.

Many of you may realise over the last couple of days we have had very high tides, a lot of rain and strong winds. The result of these three has resulted in another heavy deposit of plastic along the northern Thames foreshore. Below is a picture taken this morning in Grays.

Because of the quantity of plastics that need to be removed from the high-tide line asap I will be at the Yacht Club at 09:30 for the Beachcombers regular monthly event.

As usual we will meet outside the Yacht Club in Thames Road. In case when you arrive nobody is there, we will be working downstream/east/left of the yacht club.

Given the quantity of plastic to pick this event will suit younger pickers – especially given I have 6 raptor dino-pickers that are “biting at the bit” to consume some plastic!

Please wear weather appropriate clothing and sturdy boots, all other equipment will be provided.

Look forward to seeing as many young and less young as possible on Sunday morning.

Regards

Steve Catchpole

Beachcombers – cleaning up our riverside.

Take a walk along any beach or riverside, anywhere, and you can’t help but notice the amount of plastic waste that has been washed up on the shore

Over eight million tonnes of plastic debris ends up in our seas every year, polluting lands, rivers, coasts, beaches, and seas – that is, about, five shopping bags full of plastic for every foot of coastline in the world.

Plastic debris kills an estimated 100,000 marine mammals annually, as well as millions of birds and fishes.

The river Thames is no exception to this problem so once a month the Grays Beachcombers, led by Steve Catchpole, meet by Thurrock Yacht Club and spend a couple of hours collecting discarded plastic – mainly single use drinks bottles.

In the last six months of 2017 they collected 350 sacks of rubbish and, so far, this year they have collected over 150 sacks of rubbish including more than a thousand plastic drinks bottles.

If you want to help, the Beachcombers meet on the first Sunday of each month at 10.30 by Thurrock Yacht Club. We finish by 12 noon and have a well-deserved cup of coffee and bacon roll (vegetarian alternative available) courtesy of the Lightship Café.