Newcastle University Students’ Union (NUSU) and Keep Jesmond Clean have come together to develop a community spirit and to give Jesmond a clean-up.
The focus of this initiative is to improve the relationship between residents and students and to respond to complaints about environmental offences in the area.
Jesmond residents had reportedly said they were fed up with litter on the streets left by students and called for actions.
On Friday, 13 October, around 20 volunteers from NUSU and Keep Jesmond Clean gathered together for the first joint litter pick, which was followed by drinks and sandwiches at Newcastle Cricket Club.
Keith Jewitt, the social media officer of Keep Jesmond Clean, said: “The working partnership between Keep Jesmond Clean and NUSU is still in its early stage, but the joint litter pick has got things off to a great start. We hope to organise regular events like this and to get students involved in wider initiatives. These might include communicating with local businesses and rental agents.
“Keep Jesmond Clean is a young organisation and we are still open to ideas about our future direction. We’re always happy to hear from students on Twitter or our Facebook group “Keep Jesmond Clean Community Action Group”.
Ronnie Reid, the President of NUSU, told The Courier that the union is currently looking at other ways of collaborating with residents in addition to regular litter picks in the area.
Plans include “computer/tablet clinics with senior members of Jesmond community”, where students would be able to help people of advanced age to master technologies.
Reid said: “Newcastle University Students’ Union is at the forefront of improving community relations between different groups, particularly in Jesmond. The astonishingly successful “Leave Newcastle Happy” campaign last year produced 5119 bags of clothing and other items for the British Heart Foundation, and a massive thank you must go Kay Hattam for her fantastic organisation of the project.
'The student-led work that we do at NUSU shows the true nature of our students in Jesmond."
“However, we always feel that we can improve and this is why we’re looking to diversify some of the work that we do in Jesmond. We’re currently in discussions with Keep Jesmond Clean and various societies to increase litter picks but also offer events which are more connective between students and residents.
“I think that the student-led work that we do at NUSU shows the true nature of our students in Jesmond. They are committed and helpful individuals that care about their local community and making it a better place.”
A recent investigation by JesmondLocal has revealed that Newcastle City Council has fined Jesmond residents nearly £22,000 for environmental offences in the past four years. But it is not clear what proportion of offenders are students.