Swindon Street Reps are a group of volunteers who are passionate about making a difference in their local community. Started in 2015 by Swindon Borough Council Housing as a way of engaging tenants and residents in better communication with the council, the role evolved into a more active and diverse range of activities.
One of the first and on going activities Street Reps engaged in was community litter picks. Litter is a real issue on the estates, especially off the main roads where it may be missed by clean up crews. Litter causes many issues to the environmental well being of both people and wildlife, plastic especially as it doesn’t break down. Street Reps sought to tackle this by running ‘litter pick parties’ where a group would focus on a few streets at a time and clean the area. They would also aim to inform and educate people on proper recycling and rubbish disposal. Once an area has been cleaned people are more likely to aim to keep it that way, so the litter picks act as a deterrent.
In collaboration with SCAN for Plastic Free Swindon, Street Reps are making all their litter pick events public to encourage new volunteers and raise awareness of the issue caused by litter. The first was held in Penhill in July.
Swindon Street Reps also run a Junior Rep program which encourages young people aged 11-18 to volunteer in their communities. These young people have participated in many litter pick and clean up events across Swindon and are helping to spread awareness amongst their peers about the issues of litter, caring for the environment and SCAN’s campaign.
One Street Rep spoke on the issue “Its broken window syndrome. If an area looks dirty people don’t treat it with respect. After it’s been cleaned they take pride in it and try hard to keep it looking nice!”
To get involved or find out more about Swindon Street Reps, you can find them on Facebook HERE, or contact:
Housing Participation Officer
Housing Business development team