Volunteer litter picker is recognised with award

Published: Tuesday, 19th March 2024

A local man, who has been helping to keep his community clean for more than a year, has had his efforts recognised by Sevenoaks District Council.

Twenty-seven year old Joel Kentish volunteered for last year’s Great British Spring Clean event in March 2023. Since then, he’s been litter picking almost daily in his home village of South Darenth.

Joel picks up several bags of rubbish each week, which are picked up every Monday by the Council’s refuse crews.

Joel’s Mum, Lindsey, says: “Joel always wanted to be a waste collector since the age of three. He even had a toy refuse freighter as a very young child. But he has a condition that prevents this from happening.

“However, his passion for waste collection has never left him. He really enjoys keeping our community tidy and pleasant for all who live and visit here.

“The highlight of his week is when the Council picks up the waste he’s diligently collected. He’s sparked up a great friendship with the crews who always stop for a chat.”

On Monday 18 March 2024, as part of the Great British Spring Clean and as a ‘thank you’ for all his hard work, the Council presented Joel with a Certificate of appreciation together with a shopping voucher. Joel also got to sit in one of the Council’s waste trucks.

Lindsey adds: “Everyone in the area knows Joel and he's always being thanked for his efforts. We’re delighted his work has been recognised by the Council too.”

Cllr Margot McArthur, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Cleaner and Greener says: “I want to say a massive thank you to Joel for all his efforts over the past year. He has improved his local neighbourhood for both people and wildlife.

“Joel is part of a growing army of volunteers who go out of their way to help keep the District clean and tidy. We’re appreciative and grateful for all their work.”