Trash Girl

1158. Nadia Sparkes

Nadia Sparkes, aged 13, from Norwich, is a leading anti-litter campaigner known as ‘Trash Girl’ for her drive to encourage schoolchildren to keep their local environment clean.

Nadia Sparkes

Shocked by the waste she would see on her cycle to school, Nadia began regularly picking up items and disposing of them on her return home, collecting over 3,000 litres of litter. Called ‘Trash Girl’ by bullies at her school, Nadia was determined to overcome the name-calling by using it as part of a positive campaign to encourage her peers to take action on litter through an online community group. Her campaign has been picked up by ‘Greenpeace’, ‘WWF’ and ‘Keep Britain Tidy’, and has since gone viral, with her online following growing to over 4,000 people. She has also been depicted by local artists as a cartoon superhero character, which is being shared in schools to educate students on litter prevention.

Nadia’s award coincides with the 2019 Great British Spring Clean, the country’s largest mass-action environmental campaign run by ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ (pictured below with fellow Points of Light litter heroes Emily Stevenson, Rosanne Bostock, Dhruv Boruah and Jason Alexander).

Great British Spring Clean Points of Light Emily Stevenson, Nadia Sparkes, Rosanne Bostock, Dhruv Boruah and Jason Alexander

In a personal letter to Nadia, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“Through your ‘Trash Girl’ campaign you are changing attitudes on littering and inspiring thousands of your fellow students to take action. You are sending a positive message that we should all take responsibility for looking after our local environment, and should feel very proud of the difference this is making.”

Nadia said:

“I am so amazed and grateful to be given such an honour and I just hope that this helps to highlight how important it is for all of us to work together to make our world a better place. Every small action that each of us makes counts, whether good or bad. Please make a pledge to pick up 3 pieces of litter every day.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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