A group of Thames Water volunteers kicked off a weekend of litter picking along the River Thames, removing 14 bags of rubbish from Reading’s river banks and green spaces.
Some of the unusual items found, along with wet wipes, crisp packets and plastics bottles, were pairs of old trousers, car parts and a vintage Terry’s chocolate orange mug.
Working in partnership with Connect Reading, over 80 people from Thames Water and local businesses volunteered for the twice-yearly Reading RESCUE (Rivers & Environmental Spaces Clean Up Event), which has been running since 1989.
Thames Water staff met at the company’s HQ in Vastern Road on Friday (March 13) and, over the weekend, local community groups and businesses, including Greyfriars Church, Tilehurst Globe, Friends of Waterloo Meadows, Novotel Reading and IHS Markit, continued the clean-up.
Claire Iredale, Thames Water charities and volunteering coordinator, said: “We’re proud sponsors of Reading RESCUE and as a major employer in the town it’s really important for us to get involved and keep our community tidy. There was a great turn out so our thanks goes out to all the volunteers.”
Holly Banham, a Thames Water volunteer, added: “I had a great time tidying part of the Thames Path with Reading RESCUE. It’s really important we all do our part to take care of our community and it’s also a great way to get outside, meet new people and have an immediate impact on the local environment. The public response and interest was really positive which only upped the levels of competition between us as we tried to pick up as much litter as we could!”
Alina Mincu, food and beverage team leader from Novotel, added: I really enjoyed the event, and I’m looking forward to being part of the next Reading RESCUE.”
Lorraine Briffitt, managing director of Connect Reading, who organised the event, said: "It's been a real privilege to help organise Reading RESCUE. It's always amazing to see how many people are keen to invest in their local area, to make Reading a better place for everyone. Volunteers from every sector - and from many walks of life - gave up their time to clear up Reading's riversides and green spaces. I'm sure I speak for many of us in Reading when I say a great big thank you to everyone who took part."