A group of volunteers was highly commended at the recent Forging the Future awards
Saltwells Clean and Green were shortlisted at the 2019 Forging a Future For All Awards for their commitment to ensure a cleaner and greener environment.
The winners were announced at a black tie gala dinner at The Copthorne Hotel in Brierley Hill on Thursday 28 November.
The community group were recognised in the Improving the Local Environment Award (Group) category for their enthusiasm and hard work tackling litter and fly tipping in and around Saltwells Nature Reserve.
The second Forging a Future For All Awards, organised by the Halesowen and Dudley News and Stourbridge News, in partnership with Dudley Council, showcases how individuals and organisations have been working hard to make the borough an attractive, vibrant, healthy and safe place to live and work.
The commitment of the Saltwells Clean and Green group has inspired the community. People of all ages and backgrounds are involved in the clear-up to make a difference to their local environment.
The group received media recognition earlier this year, following a clear-up of over 100 bags of rubbish at Netherton Reservoir, with the support of volunteers and Tidy Stourbridge.
Over the last year they have dedicated time clearing residential streets and returning to clear up waste if the problem has remained.
Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environmental, highways and street services said:
Saltwells Clean and Green are an amazing and friendly group of local people. Their passion and care for their patch is really infectious. They have made such a difference to Saltwells and the surrounding area over the last year.
They take the most challenging patches and work their magic and transform them into places that everyone can be proud of. They are a real credit to the Saltwells community and I’m so grateful for all they are doing.
The team’s effort to tackle the worst areas is encouraging the community. People have now started picking up litter themselves as they go on their daily stroll.
In the spirit of the Dudley Deal, this change in the local community is making a vast difference to Saltwells Nature Reserve. It has also helped to free up the Nature Reserve staff’s time to tackle other projects to benefit, not only the wildlife there, but to improve the site and activities for visitors.
The group first met in January 2019 and elected a committee of three volunteers who co-ordinate the wider group. The group includes Ollie Leather, 11, who won the Environment Award at the Dudley Youth Awards in 2019.