The New Brighteners
New Brighton, Wallasey, Wirral
Loving the New Brighton Shore, so: Bin It, Don't Beach It!
The New Brighteners was launched in 2014, but had its origins in 2009, when a local couple got funding from Mersey Docks and Harbours to buy litter pickers, bag hoops and gloves and started beach cleaning with a handful of friends. In 2012, another couple, went through a similar process, getting pickers and hoops from the Countryside Rangers.
In 2014, the two small groups discovered each other, and joined together, and The New Brighteners was officially launched. A Facebook page was set up (https://www.facebook.com/groups/thenewbrighteners/) and membership grew rapidly to currently, 680+, however, in real terms it has a core group of around 40-50 active, ‘roll-up-your-sleeves’ members and a small ‘management’ team called, the Non-Committee. The Brighteners have a wide membership demographic: ages range from 10 to 70+, and all our members are volunteers, and now cover a 3 mile stretch of the New Brighton coast, as well as community spaces close to their own homes.
In 2015-16 the group was successful in obtaining funding from Wirral Wide’s cross-constituency fund, for a special project to kick-start four new community litter picking groups across three Wirral Constituencies. These new, wholly autonomous, litter picking groups being based in the Wirral areas of Egremont, West Kirby Transition Town, Wallasey Central Park and the Bidston reclamation zone.
In just two years, The New Brighteners has gained a reputation for getting the job done and are often asked to assist at special events. Members also sit on New Brighton’s, Marine Point Anti-social Team, are associate members of the New Brighton Coastal Community Team, are members of the Wirral Coast Partnership and liaise with local and national associations including, Keep Britain Tidy, The Marine Conservation Society, Surfers Against Sewage, The Wildlife Trust (UK) and Wirral Wildlife Trust and The Environment Agency. Many Brighteners are also independently member of some of these groups.
We campaigned with the Council for more litter bins, want to make the area Polystyrene free, won an Environmental Award and we have a tame Litter Monster!
Brighteners also work alongside other local volunteer groups including, the Black Pearl Pirates, the Friends of Vale Park and the Momentary Art Project.
In 2015, The New Brighteners conducted a number of school and youth club classroom based sessions, some also with follow-up litter picks, focusing on the environmental dangers of beach litter; plastics, polystyrene, etc.
2016 and beyond? We are planning to do an anti-litter music video and we also hope to do a large project for World Oceans Day in June 2016, as well as continuing to keep the New Brighton beaches clean.
Please Note: Copies of our Constitution, Risk Assessment and Public Indemnity Insurance are available upon request.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
The group achieves clean, litter free and safe beaches with the minimum of equipment and thus represents excellent value for money. The group uses the following equipment: Litter pickers, rubbish bags supplied by the Coastal Rangers, Bag hoops, strong gloves, sharps containers and Landing nets for cleaning New Brighton’s Marine Lake. Funding, if received, will be used exclusively on additional new equipment and replacement of broken equipment. The effect of the beach cleaning is felt in the present, and will be continuing into the future, sometimes in the busy season cleaning takes place on a daily basis.
The activity of the group helps New Brighton be more pleasant for local residents, improving quality of life, and also supports New Brighton’s tourism offer, improving the visitor experience, and contributing positively to its local economy.
Annual visitors to New Brighton who stay for an average of 2.2 days are 52,000, and visitors who annually visit New Brighton number 470,000. (figures from New Brighton’s Coastal Community Team/Wirral Council). Many of these visitors also enjoy the beach environment.
Additionally it helps keep damaging plastics, polystyrene and other litter pollutants from entering the ocean ecology.
"The activity of The New Brighteners represents excellent value for money in that a small amount of resource (access to equipment and materials), results in a significant impact on the local area, helping to build community spirit and a strong ‘sense of place.
Caroline Laing - Wallasey Constituency Manager