Young people and youth workers from the Route 81 youth project in Garelochhead joined forces with the village’s community council and local residents on Sunday to remove weeks of litter from their beach.

Two hours of gathering waste items from the beach saw 30 bags of rubbish being collected by 18 volunteers.

Whilst everyone was hard at work a separate group of five young people from Route 81 were preparing a lunch of homemade soup, sandwiches and desserts to provide a space for food, relaxation and chat – a perfect opportunity for strengthening community spirit!

As part of their ‘Footprint Friday’ project, funded by Argyll and Bute Council’s Supporting Communities Fund, Route 81 have committed to jointly organising two beach cleans with Garelochhead Community Council and local residents.

READ MORE: In Pictures; Garelochhead residents team up to tackle beach litter

The 28-week ‘Footprint Friday’ project, consisting of planning meetings, skills workshops, youth sessions, informal education, beach cleans and a community event in March is aimed at young people becoming more eco-friendly, particularly within their Youth Centre, Centre 81, whilst also understanding the impact of their own personal ‘footprint’.

In the process of all of these events and activities, the project focusses on team work, confidence growth, new skills and relationship building – providing young people with life long learning and the opportunity to gain volunteering hours for their Saltire Volunteer Award.

Beach clean organiser Carol Spencer, from Garelochhead Community Council, said: “A brilliant day was had by all – It’s so encouraging to see young motivated individuals. The young people worked very hard and in total we collected 30 bags.

“What a welcome afterwards in Centre 81 to find hot delicious food waiting for us!

“Beach cleans take place the third Sunday of every month and volunteers are always welcome." LATEST HEADLINES: Court's 'last chance' for man over Helensburgh abuse case

Rita Findlay, Garelochhead resident and beach clean regular, added: “An amazing turnout for the Garelochhead Beach Clean. Good to see so many young people helping the environment! Fantastic food put on, totally appreciated the food after working so hard! “

Village resident Sunny Townsend added: “What a brilliant event. The recent storms have brought more litter than ever to Garelochhead’s beach, which is really in need of more looking after anyway.

“It was great to see the community come together, from toddlers to seniors and share a meal together at the wonderful Centre 81.”

Michelle MacDonald from Route 81 said: “Sunday was a great day – a fantastic piece of inter-generational work took place, bringing the community together.

"We are so proud of the young people here at Route 81 and the efforts, commitment and passion they have for their volunteering and making a difference within their community.”

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