Forest Gate students do their bit to improve neighbourhood
16:38 13 May 2014
A group of 35 St Bonaventure’s students took part in a TELCO CitySafe neighbourhood walk and litter pick along Green Street recently.
After meeting at Our Lady of Compassion Church at the top end of Green Street, the boys from the Forest Gate school split into two teams with half equipped with gloves, refuse sacks and litter pickers. The other half visited shops to tell storekeepers what they were doing and how they hoped to make the streets of Newham cleaner and safer for all.
They braved the windy, rainy weather to walk down Green Street with McDonalds staff, TELCO Newham coordinator, Emmanuel Gotora, St Bon’s TELCO coordinator, Nick Pauro and Headteacher, Paul Halliwell.
Mr Halliwell said: “The media focus on street safety for youths has made our boys very aware of the dangers of criminal behaviour and activity. The reality is Newham is no worse than many places in the UK but nevertheless it remains a concern for them. The best way of tackling that fear is to reduce it and our students wanted to do something to make Newham safer so empowering themselves.
“The students also identified litter and fly-tipping as a blight in their neighbourhoods. They did their bit to address this.”
Halfway along the route, at Queens Market, the two groups joined up again and paused for a minute’s silence as a mark of respect for the stall-holder who was killed there earlier this year.
After a busy morning, the students ended their walk at McDonald on Romford Road.
The fast food restaurant is the most recent outlet to have signed up to become a CitySafe Haven. Their support is fantastic and they will now display the purple CitySafe Haven sticker on their front door alerting people to the fact that they are supporters of the scheme.
Nick Pauro said: “It’s so important that our students become socially aware. They really do want to change the poor image teenagers sometimes have. These boys are model students. They are polite, respectful and have integrity and I think our VIP guests and the people of Green Street caught a glimpse of that.”