Moss Side Eco Squad
1902. Hafsa Mekki
Hafsa Mekki, from Manchester, started up ‘Moss Side Eco Squad’, a community-based eco project bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds from her inner-city neighbourhood to clear litter and promote sustainability.
Hafsa created the initiative after her maternity leave and experiences with anxiety as a means of connecting with her neighbours and reducing social isolation whilst taking pride in her local area. The group meets once a month for a communal clean, but also loans equipment to allow members to carry out smaller cleans in their own time with friends and family, helping to clear on average 10 bags of litter every week.
Hafsa is a Litter Hero ambassador for Keep Britain Tidy, which runs the Great British Spring Clean, the annual campaign to encourage people to look after their local environment and eliminate litter.
In a personal letter to Hafsa, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Thank you for your extraordinary efforts to keep your local area in Manchester tidy and to make your community an even better place to live.
I was inspired to learn of your ‘Moss Side Eco Squad’ and how you have made your litter picks a community hub for people of all ages and backgrounds.”
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be receiving this award! I’m so grateful for every single person who has joined the group at some point over the last two years and has helped keep me motivated and encouraged to carry on the task of keeping our streets clean. Whilst it may feel like an endless task at times, the friendship groups and community spirit that has built up along the way has made it all worthwhile.”
Photo credit: Matt Pover Photography