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25 volunteers spread out all over Melksham to spend the afternoon cleaning up Melksham in the first Tidy Town Day of the year on Sunday 8th February.
Volunteers included town councillors, members of the Britain in Bloom South West Committee, residents who just wanted to help out, and 11 members of Melksham Lions Club.
Organised by Melksham Town Team, Tidy Town Days are regular events in Melksham and as well as having an uplifting afternoon making a huge difference to the tidiness of the town, this was the first time that everyone earned Time Credits for their work.
The national Time Credit scheme launched in Melksham in October 2014 and is a way of rewarding volunteers for every hour given. Wiltshire Time Credits are run by an organisation called Spice who work in partnership with Wiltshire Council.
In Melksham, two Time Credits can be exchanged for a cinema ticket for use at Melksham Assembly Hall, or hire of a DVD at Melksham Library. Many more places throughout Wiltshire take Time Credits and the scheme expands more places are getting involved with more opportunities for people to earn and spend Time Credits.
Wiltshire Council carry out daily cleaning routines in Melksham, but litter is still a growing problem, which is why the town council are targeting it with Time Credits. As well as attending the regular Tidy Town Days, anyone can sign up to the Clean Up Scheme at the town hall at any time. Litter picking equipment and bags are provided and every hour of picking up litter anywhere in Melksham is rewarded with a Time Credit.
One of the volunteers on Sunday, Julie Cannings, is in a mobility scooter. She regularly litter picks around Melksham, and said, “Sometimes when I’m picking up litter children come and help – I hold the bag and they reach the places I can’t reach. The amount of rubbish we found today, it shows that we need to get out and do this more. And If I can do it anybody can.”
For more information about Time Credits or the Community Clean Up Scheme, call the town hall on 01225 704187 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.