Whitby beach sweep brings community together

The first Whitby Beach Sweep of the year has taken place, with around 20 people gathering to improve the health of the town’s beaches.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 9:42 am
Updated Friday, 14th May 2021, 9:44 am
Volunteers at Whitby beach sweep.

Whitby Beach Sweep was initiated just over three years ago by Elaine Marsh when she visited the beach and noticed it was looking fairly scruffy and in need of a clean.

She raised the issue with Charlotte Angus from Coast and Vale Community Action (CaVCA) who said: “Put together a plan and we’ll support you.”

The beach sweep was initiated and over the last three years people have joined the initiative for a variety of reasons.

Danny McVay, Stuart Purdie and Heather Vitty.

There are those who use it as a way to get out of the house and meet other people.

For others it is a way to care for the environment and for some it is a way to improve their mental health.

Jean Thornton-Green and Andrea Hoylands were both attending their first beach sweep.

The two were chatting happily and working together to find rubbish.

Jean said: “I’ve been very anxious during lockdown and I thought this would help.

"Being out helps and it’s worth it in the long run to meet other people.”

Treasurer, Phil Murray, is originally from Wakefield. Despite only being in Whitby for four years, he became a regular attendee at the event and soon became involved in fundraising.

He said: “We need funds for litter pickers, two minute beach sweep A-boards get out and public liability insurance.”

The organisation also needs places to house their A-boards, with Whitby surf club a staunch supporter of what they do.

Jade Charman, 23, came along when her mum invited her, she said: “It’s nice to see a lot of people doing it.

"We live in a beautiful place and we want to keep it that way.”

Jo Hindley-Richardson, chair of the Beach Sweep said the support from local businesses has been fantastic.

She said:”It’s in their best interest to keep the town looking lovely and they’re happy to support us.

“We’ve had sweeps sponsored by The Duke of York, Sander’s Yard, Mr Coopers, Hetty and Betty, Full of Beans and Clara’s.

"They’ve supported us really well, and when we go for coffee in our own bubbles, we try to support those who have supported us.”

The next Whitby Beach Sweep will take place on Sunday (May 16) at the end of Mental Health Awareness Week, meet 11am at the whale bones in Whitby.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/whitbybeachsweep to find out more.