Maida Hill gets a Spring Clean!

Over the past few months, Harrow Road Neighbourhood Partnership (HRNP) has been busily co-ordinating the Maida Hill Environment Project. Working with members of HRNP’s recently formed Environmental Action Groups – comprising Maida Hill Waste Action Group* and Maida Hill Gardening Action Group* - and with Veolia Environmental Services, a community clean-up campaign was devised.

Led by local people, the Maida Hill Spring Clean aims to encourage everyone who lives or works in the W9 and W10 area of the City of Westminster to focus on taking care of and improving their environment. It is hoped the event will develop into an ongoing community activity.

On Saturday 19th March locals of all ages joined a community co-ordinated clean-up starting at Maida Hill Market, picking litter, clearing notorious dumping sites, planting seeds and more. Residents arrived at midday to pick up tools, guidelines, resources and refreshments, before heading off to do something practical, including cleaning the walkways outside parades of shops, planting in a disused flowerbed, highlighting a patch of neglected land, or reporting a dumping site.

Veolia and HRNP provided litterpickers, bin bags, seeds, gloves, gardening tools and other materials.

With the support of residents associations, schools, the council and Veolia, the project has caught the attention and imagination of local schoolchildren, individuals, Councillors, businesses, community and social groups, with word of mouth spreading amongst Waste Action Group members, friends and neighbours.

Images for the clean up campaign were also designed by year five children at Queen’s Park Primary School. The winning designs were: “My Doorstep Is Not Your Dustbin” by Abas Risvegli “Save the World, Save Queens Park” by Ardita Sylejmani “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” by Mohammed Korda 

Posters and stickers were produced with the help of Veolia and have sprung up in local windows and on wheelie bins and residential bins in the past couple of weeks. Veolia has also donated more than 50 sets of litterpickers and gloves for volunteers and provided children at Queen’s Park School with hi-viz vests with the slogan “Don’t Demolish – Make Queen’s Park Polished”, for a school clean-up event.

Dan Lester, Veolia’s Communications Manager (London), says: “We are delighted to be involved with this excellent initiative. Anything that brings together a community in this way with such important benefits has to be encouraged and we are more than happy to offer our support.”

Kierra Box, neighbourhood officer at HRNP, says: “The project has three main aims: to make a tangible difference by picking up litter, planting flowers etc; to show that residents care about the area and want to protect it by maintaining cleansing services and sticking to guidelines around litter collection and dumping; and to highlight and measure levels of neglect or dumping as the basis for any future discussion with the council. If the community achieves these aims, Maida Hill will have the litter-collection and cleansing services it receives better tailored to its needs. We’re really grateful to Veolia staff for all their support and to all the local residents and children at Queen’s Park school who have really got stuck in with this campaign.”

On Friday 18th March Westminster City Council and Veolia Environmental Services also mobilised its staff to spring clean the Maida Hill area in support of residents’ efforts on Saturday 19th March.

The Maida Hill Clean Up Campaign is part of the Maida Hill Environmental Project. To find out more visit www.harrowroadblog.com/local-info/ui-environment/, email hrnp@ghg.org.uk, or call 0208 968 5543.