One of Newcastle’s greatest grass roots football clubs will today be spreading the message of how important it is to look after our local environments.

Newcastle East End Football club will be taking part in Newcastle City Council’s two Great British Spring Clean events. 

One event will take place today (19th March) in Walker while the other will also be held today in Lemington along Hadrian’s Way.

Newcastle East End Football Club – based at the Swans Recreation Ground in Walkergate – has over 480 members and regularly interacts with people of all ages from across the city and beyond.

The club was a founder member of the Northern League and – in 1889 – the first club in Newcastle to go professional.

The Great British Spring Clean brings communities together in order to clean up the litter that mars the UK’s cities, towns, villages and beaches.

The campaign complements Newcastle City Council’s award-winning Keep It Clean programme, which seeks to change the behaviour of those who fly-tip, drop litter and fail to clean up after their dogs.

The vice chairman of Newcastle East End FC, Charlie Scott, said, “Walkergate has a great community spirit – a lot of local people take pride in this area.”

“What we do as a football club is try to teach our young players that after every training session and matchday they must clean up after themselves. This includes picking up papers and bottles from the football pitch and surrounding spaces.” 

“It’s their park, their pitches and their play areas so we have to respect them and keep them tidy.”

Charlie added, “We do a lot of voluntary work in and around Walker, especially litter picks and helping to maintain some of the recreational grounds. It’s an important lesson for the young people as they will hopefully take forward these lessons later on in their lives.” 

“It’s in everybody’s interest to clear and keep tidy the areas in which they live, play and work. This goes for locally and nationally.”

The assistant club secretary of Newcastle East End FC, Michael Bell, said, “Within the football club, we try to make sure that everywhere is clear of rubbish and dog mess. We even recycle some of the plastic bottles and give them to a local community group, who use them for arts and crafts activities.”

“This teaches the young people good values and gives them renewed respect for their local spaces and environments, which can only be good for the community.”

Cllr Nick Kemp, Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods and regulatory services, said, “We have signed up to the Great British Spring Clean as it represents the council’s own commitment to keeping a clean and green city.”

“We are asking local residents and people interested in all aspects of community life to come along and help our clear-up teams. Newcastle is a proud city, where residents, businesses and visitors love to enjoy its great social, traditional and heritage values.”

“But sometimes what comes with that are people who don’t care about the environment and think it’s alright to litter the streets and make things unfortunate for others. Come along and do your bit for this worthwhile national campaign.” 

Newcastle’s Great British Spring Clean events will both be held today (Monday 19th March) from 10.00 am till noon. Volunteers will be provided with all the necessary equipment, but people are advised to wear clothes suitable for the weather and sturdy shoes.

For both events, volunteers should assemble at 9.45 am. The meeting point in Lemington is the Lemington Centre, Tyne View, NE15 8RZ. For the Walker event, please meet at the Pottery Bank Community Centre, NE6 3SW.

Refreshments will be made available to all volunteers. Under-16s should be accompanied by an adult.

Please note that the Great British Spring Clean will take place weather permitting. It is advisable to check the council’s website or social media to make sure the events are still going ahead.

You can find out about matters connected with Newcastle City Council by visiting www.newcastle.gov.uk or going to @NewcastleCityCouncil (Facebook) or @NewcastleCC on Twitter.

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