Children at a Hartlepool primary school have demonstrated their commitment to the environment after the individual efforts of a fellow pupil won praise from councillors.
Members of the Eco-Club at Throston Primary School staged a litter pick in and around their school, with support from Irene Cross, a community cohesion officer with Hartlepool Borough Council.
They were joined by eight-year-old Luke Smart, who had written to his local ward councillors to express his dismay over litter.
He put pen top paper after undertaking daily clean-ups with his mum Emma as they walked to and from the school.
Irene said: “The Jesmond Ward councillors were so impressed with Luke’s letter that I was asked to contact the school.
“They also agreed to provide some of their Ward Member Budgets to pay for two new litter bins in the area.
“After speaking to the school, it was agreed that the Eco-Club would stage a litter pick and although Luke isn’t currently a member of the club (it comprises one representative from each year group), he was invited to take part too.
“I was able to support the activity by providing litter pickers and gloves for the pupils.”
Mrs Smart said: “I am really proud of Luke.
“We have always tried to encourage him to look after the environment and we have always instilled in him the importance of being proactive rather than just complaining.
“Collecting litter as we walked to and from school was our way of being proactive and in no time at all we had collected nine bags of rubbish.
“I subsequently encouraged Luke to write to his local councillors – Sandra Belcher, John Tennant and Paddy Brown – and I am delighted that they responded so positively.”
Teacher Abby Davies, who runs Throston Primary School’s Eco-Club, said: “The school and all of its pupils have a strong commitment to caring for the environment and we are very proud to have been awarded a Green Flag in recognition of our efforts.
“Luke deserves a lot of credit for not only raising awareness of the problem caused by litter in our neighbourhood but also doing something about it. As a school, we were only too happy to get involved in the litter pick when Irene Cross contacted us.”