The Pandemic obviously presented challenges for the Tidy Towns group. A number of members were unavailable, as they were shielding. Projects where close teamwork was required were not feasible. Meetings could only be carried out over Zoom.
We concentrated on wider-area projects, where safe social distancing could be observed. For cleanups in areas such as Kaat’s strand and approach roads such as Carcur , individuals were allocated stretches of the targeted area, and each volunteer was responsible for their own section.
This all had a very unfortunate down-side to the social side of the group. The chat and banter while we worked was missing, and of course the ritual of the ‘tea-and-scones’ at the end of all the hard work had to be foregone. This loss cannot be overestimated – the dynamic of the group drives its morale and the shared sense of satisfaction of a job well done. The conversations also contributed hugely to suggestions of future projects, and reports of areas which were becoming in need of attention.
While we wait for normality to return, re-focusing is required. Within the group, each member volunteered to adopt an area where they would be responsible for regular litter-picks. Over social media we reached out to invite communities to organize clean-ups in their own neighbourhoods, with Tidy Towns providing the required equipment, and organizing the Council operatives to pick up the accumulated rubbish bags and sundry items.