Silhouette of Teesside


Litter collection organisers Andy Preston, left, and Carolyn Dodds, right, with Lisa Sparrow of McDonald’s – Pic by Doug Moody Businesses Challenged To Help Make Middlesbrough Shine
April 08, 2019

Mayoral candidate Andy Preston is looking for businesses with a “clean conscience” to follow McDonald’s lead and join the litter picking movement that’s transforming Middlesbrough’s streets and green spaces.

Since the start of the year, volunteers led by Mr Preston and community activist Carolyn Dodds have spruced up areas including Stewart Park, the Arty at Tollesby, the Abingdon Road area and Thorntree Park.

The tidy-up heroes’ efforts have received huge public support, with more and more community-spirited local people joining in each time they get together.

Lisa Sparrow, trust lead for nine McDonald’s restaurants, read about the litter picks on Facebook and thought it was a perfect match for the company’s own community activities.

“We normally find our own initiatives as part of McDonald’s Love Where You Live campaign and one of our restaurants recently helped clean up the area around Hemlington Lake,” said Lisa.

“But we’ve always wanted to be part of a bigger movement and this seems like an ideal opportunity.

“I’d never met Andy Preston but I know he does a lot in the area, so I thought he’d be the go-to person when we wanted to help.

“It will be great to be able to look back this time next year and say we’ve helped make a difference to the whole town, not just one part of it.”

As well as Lisa’s A66 restaurant, the group also includes McDonald’s sites at Middlesbrough town centre, Coulby Newham, Teesside Leisure Park, Eston, Skelton, Redcar, Wolviston and Catterick.

They are offering to provide 18-20 staff, who will all wear their McDonald’s uniforms as well as hi-vis jackets, for each litter pick.

“It’s absolutely fantastic to have a national brand like McDonald’s on board and playing their part in showing we love where we live,” said Mr Preston.

“It’s all about Teessiders working together for the benefit of the town, making our area a better place and caring for the environment.

“Now McDonald’s has led the way, we’re hoping more businesses and their staff will offer to get behind this inspirational campaign.”

Up to 100 volunteers turn out in all weather for each litter pick, collecting around 100 kilogrammes of plastic, paper, glass and other waste each time. Everyone is welcome to join them, especially families, and equipment is provided.

“We’ve been blown away by the turnout and the atmosphere at our litter picks is very special and something you’ve got to experience for yourself to truly understand,” added Mr Preston.

“The council’s street cleaning teams do a fantastic job with the limited resources they are given, but the overall state of the town sometimes sends out the wrong message to both residents and visitors.

“Carolyn has been the driving force behind this awesome movement and it’s something I’m delighted to have been able to help with.”

More litter pick locations are planned in the coming weeks.

“If your area has a particularly bad problem with litter please get in touch, stating exactly where and supplying a photograph if possible,” added Mr Preston.


Photograph of Andy Preston
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"I believe in Middlesbrough. Together we can make amazing things happen."
- Andy Preston charity leader, businessman, Middlesbrough mayoral candidate
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