Over 100 volunteers took part in the event, including local young people, Veolia staff, members of the community, local businesses and Councillor Jonathan Glanz, West End Ward Councillor, Westminster City Council.
Despite the awful weather conditions, the enthusiasm and energy of the volunteers never dwindled in what was a successful and enjoyable event.
Starting at 6.30am at Veolia’s Soho depot with a brief health and safety induction, volunteers were split into teams of ten, each co-ordinated by a Veolia street cleaner, and assigned to a specific area within Soho or Chinatown. After working through till 2pm they were all treated to lunch at one of several supporting local restaurants before congregating in Golden Square for the presentation of certificates to all participants.
Vincent Masseri, Senior Contract Manager for Veolia in Westminster, said: “We were delighted to support this important event as by working together with the community we can help maintain Soho and Chinatown as a clean, safe and welcoming place to live, work and visit. It was fantastic in particular to see so many local young people engaging in this project and we hope everyone had a very enjoyable and worthwhile day.”
Addressing the volunteers after the clean-up had finished, Councillor Jonathan Glanz said: “The West End of London is a worldwide tourist destination which attracts thousands of visitors each day. It takes a huge amount of work to keep it looking clean and tidy, and I am delighted that so many volunteers have turned out in their own time on a Bank Holiday to contribute to that effort. I would like to express my gratitude to the young people who took part, the event organiser Lanre Olagoke and the Veolia staff, who work tirelessly to keep the city’s streets in peak condition throughout the year.”