Sutton Scene - Leader of the Council Column 31/07/2020

Published Friday, 31st July 2020

I was pleased to join over 20 volunteers last Saturday morning on a litter pick in Rosehill Park East.

It's a large park with a dense wooded area and between us, we filled over thirty large sacks with litter and discarded rubbish from the undergrowth. There has been a lot more littering in our parks during the COVID crisis and we wanted to do our bit to help.

It was hard work but good to be out in the open air and meet new people - socially distanced, of course. It was shocking to find so many fast food containers and rubbish in the woods - but good to hear the grateful thanks of the joggers and dog walkers as they saw us picking it all up. We have 80 lovely parks and open spaces in our borough for everyone to enjoy. If only people would take their rubbish home with them or use the bins provided!

There are many different ways you can volunteer and it has been shown to bring considerable benefits to your physical and mental health. Especially during this terrible pandemic, it's good to give a helping hand and know you are making a difference to your neighbours and your community. Many hundreds of people in Sutton have stepped up in lots of different ways and we are grateful to you all - shopping for your relatives and neighbours; delivering essential food parcels and Meals on Wheels; keeping in touch on the phone and with video calls; mentoring young people and befriending older ones; helping out with a local charity or faith group; as well as keeping our local parks clean and tidy.

If you'd like to volunteer but aren't sure who to contact, there are lots of local charities and voluntary organisations who would appreciate your help. And your local park is likely to have a Friends group - or else you could help set one up. Sutton Volunteer Centre would love to hear from you and let you know what volunteering opportunities are available in our borough - contact them at You'd be surprised just how many different ways there are to help out.

Our borough has a strong tradition of volunteering and looking after each other. During the last four months, Sutton has truly Stepped Up and made us all proud. #SuttonStepsUp