• Inspiring young environmentalists, one litter-picking adventure at a time

Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Damian Boylan visited Gaelscoil Mhuscraí in Blarney on Friday to meet with children from 1st and 2nd class as they continue their efforts to tackle litter in Cork City with the Picker Pals Programme. 

The Picker Pals programme is a fun and engaging programme which inspires and motivates children to care for their local environment though regular litter-picking adventures.  Classrooms are provided with bespoke story and activity books in both Irish and English, and “Picker Packs” which contain everything children and their families need to go litter-picking.  Each week, a different child brings the Picker Pack home, goes on a litter-picking adventure with their family and then reports back to their classmates on their activity.  The programme uses interactive online sessions, songs and short Picker Pals TV shows to motivate children to get involved in this important social and environmental issue. 

Last year almost 1,200 children and their families took part in regular litter-picking adventures in Cork City. Every weekend, children and their families were out and about getting to grips with litter in parks, streets, beaches, playgrounds and housing estates all over Cork city. In total, children picked up over 3.5 tonnes of litter as part of last year’s programme – that is more than the weight of an adult rhinoceros! 

Cork City Council’s Waste Enforcement Section is supporting this important programme, which is run by environmental NGO VOICE (Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment). The programme successfully ran at multiple schools in Cork City during the previous school year. 

At the Launch, Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr. Damian Boylan welcomed the initiative, saying:

I am delighted the school children of Cork City are getting the chance to be leaders in caring for their local area. We need everyone working together to keep our city beautiful. Empowering our young people is so important in sustaining pride in our city well into the future.

Mindy O’Brien, Co-ordinator of VOICE said:

We are delighted to have the support of Cork City Council again for the Picker Pals Programme. Such support allows the programme to grow each year and to inspire more and more children to take the first step towards becoming environmentalists through regular care of their local environment.

Múinteoir Niall Ó Cróinín of Gaelscoil Mhuscraí said:

The children are very pleased and very proud to be involved in Picker Pals. They are having fun learning that we all have a part to play in taking care of our locality and they get a great sense of achievement from doing so.

Now entering its 4th year, Picker Pals is looking forward to another exciting year with over 1,300 classrooms taking part in the programme, all across the country. A small number of places are still available. If your school would like to get involved fill out the short application form or check out the website www.pickerpalsworld.org


PICKER PALS is being run by VOICE Ireland to tackle the scourge of litter and to create a generation of young environmentalists.

VOICE is a member-based Irish environmental charity that empowers individuals and local communities to take positive action to conserve our natural resources. It also advocates for the government and the corporate sector to adopt environmentally responsible behaviours, and for the development of strong national policies on waste and water issues. For more info see http://www.voiceireland.org

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