Duke of Edinburgh’s Award holds waste-collection event

An International Volunteer Day event attracted participants of all ages from across the community, organisers said.

Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Bermuda invited youngsters and the wider community to collect trash around the region of the Arboretum in Devonshire for United Nations Volunteer Day on Sunday.

Karen Simmons, the main organiser, said that 75 people attended the meet, including 29 chaperones and adults who wanted to give back to the community.

Ms Simmons said the turnout was “much better than expected”, adding “usually clean-ups have no more than 20 people, so this was much bigger than we thought we’d get”.

Ms Simmons said that the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Committee requires all chapters around the world to have an event for United Nations Volunteer Day.

She said that they worked with Keep Bermuda Beautiful to organise a morning of collecting trash, which Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participants could use for their mandatory volunteer hours.

Ms Simmons said that volunteers were organised into groups that collected trash from Happy Valley Road to Roberts Avenue in Pembroke.

She added that a wide array of volunteers attended, with even Rena Lalgie, the Governor, taking part.

Helena Thomas, 16, said that she volunteered because she saw it as a way to help preserve the island’s natural beauty.

She explained: “I’ve been living in Bermuda since I was a baby, and I’ve fallen in love with its beauty.

“I think if we can clean Bermuda’s streets and parks, then we can restore that beauty.”

Helena, a gold-level participant from BHS, said that her group found plenty of trash around the area, including a motorcycle motor and an abandoned barbecue.

She added that the waste “just kept coming” whenever they thought they had cleaned out their area.

Helena said that the experience taught her the value of teamwork, which became a great asset when handling the amount of waste that they found.

She added that the experience also showed her the importance of keeping the environment clean.

Helena said: “We were just one group, so the more people we can get out here the better.”

Royal Gazette