December 4, 2021
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Kilkenny’s Picker Pals unite to make city and county a litter-free zone

By Joshua Cullen

Students from no fewer than 15 first classes across the city and county have come together to make litter-picking a fun and bonding experience for children and families.

And the Picker Pals programme – first introduced in Kilkenny last September – has met with a positive response from schools who took part in the initiative.

Kilkenny Mayor Andrew McGuinness said of the anti-litter programme: “I’m excited at the level of interest shown by the primary school. And I must thank the teachers of 1st classes across the city at being so receptive to the programme.”

Following the positive response to the programme, Picker Pals, which is operated by the environmental charity VOICE Ireland, has offered an extension for an additional 20 classrooms across the county. This was made possible by funding from the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.

Programme Manager Angela Kenny said: “Picker Pals was delighted to extend the programme, and when we announced the opportunity across our social media channels in late September the places filled up quickly.

“We are working very hard preparing and sending out the Picker Packs for all of these classrooms so they can start their litter picking adventures as soon as possible.”

Commenting on the extension of the programme, athaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr Fidelis Doherty, said: “Kilkenny County Council is delighted with its new partnership with VOICE Ireland as it ties into many of our objectives set out in the Council’s Litter Management Plan 2021-2023.

“The Picker Pals initiative provides teachers with a ready to roll programme that gives young people the tools and positive motivation to develop stewardship of their local environments. It is an amazing opportunity for Kilkenny and I would like to thank the Picker Pals Programme for working with the Council and we look forward to seeing how the programme progresses over the months ahead.”

Instilling a sense of environmental stewardship, Picker Pals seeks to deliver the educational message of Climate Action to children in a fun and engaging way. Participating classes will have opportunities of additional educational supports throughout the year by taking advantage of online workshops provided by the programme.

Kilkenny County Council Environmental Awareness Officer Bernadette Moloney added: “Kilkenny County Council was keen to support the programme and initially provided funding to introduce it into the city, however the subsequent extension of the programme was made possible by additional funding from Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications is very well received.
“The Council recognises its potential to raise awareness about litter in communities and engaging families which may never have considered the impacts of litter in their local community previously.”

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