Volunteer tackles litter problem on Kingsway in Heysham

A Heysham man is doing his bit for the community by volunteer litter picking around Kingsway five days a week.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 3:45 pm

David Pierce, 58, of Kingsway Court, Heysham, said: “It all started in November 2018 when I saw all the weeds and I thought ‘I wish I could help out’.

“I’ve been picking up litter for over a year to keep Kingsway clean.

“I’m well supported by the city council, I get green binbags, a litter picker, a spade, a rake and a hoe.

David Pierce volunteers to do litter picking in the community round Kingsway, Heysham. Photo Neil Cross

“It’s hard work doing it on your own, I just want to be recognised for my hard work.

“If I see something wrong around Kingsway, I’m straight on the phone.

“One time there was water leaking at a house on Kingsway and I called United Utilities and stood for an hour until they came to sort it.

“I’ve made some friends whilst litter picking as well.

David Pierce volunteers to do litter picking in the community round Kingsway, Heysham. Photo Neil Cross.

“I’m just doing things on my own to try and clean the area around Kingsway.

“People say to me ‘you should get paid, you are doing a lovely job!’

“I get fresh air and it helps me with my anxiety.

“I have found discarded face masks, dog poo and laughing gas cannisters on some of my litter picks.

David Pierce volunteers to do litter picking in the community round Kingsway, Heysham. Photo Neil Cross.

“You have to be aware of needles as well, but I haven’t come across any of those yet.

“I’m an area ambassador. I just got fed up with the litter.

“I’ve worked my guts out five days a week, I like to keep things tidy.

“I’ve also received an excellence award from the mayor of Lancaster for my efforts.

David Pierce volunteers to do litter picking in the community round Kingsway, Heysham. Photo: Neil Cross.

“I’ve got a good community to volunteer in.

“I’m trying to get a team together to get a litter pick going.”

David was born in Lancaster then went down south to work.

He said: “I’m an ex-team leader from British Rail, but had to retire due to ill health.

“I was in Horsham in 1990 and was responsible for 74 rail carriages one night.

“I got badly beaten up and that is what has caused my anxiety.

“The first time I was assaulted I was kicked in the back and hit in the face. I was taken to hospital and found to have a fractured cheekbone and finger. It took me three months to get back into things and then I was assaulted again.

“One bloke tried to pull my clip on tie off so I put my hand on the bell to call for assistance.

“Then I had another three young men who tried to be funny with me.

“It took me a long time to recover.

“I react, I get a bit loud and self defensive.

“I’m gradually getting back on my feet.

“I’ve met a nice lady and she has helped me. It’s like starting a new life.

Volunteering has done my health good. I just love it.”

A spokesman for Lancaster City Council said: “David Pierce is a regular and valued litter picking volunteer who has registered with the council to receive its support. Anyone wanting to organise a community clean- up of their local park, play area, beach, school grounds, cycle track, footpath or street, either as a group or individual can register for support from the council. This includes the provision of weeding and litter picking equipment, rubbish bags and high-vis vests as well all the advice volunteers need for a successful, safe and enjoyable event. The council will also come and take away the weeds and litter collected at the end of the day."

More information can be found here