25 May 2022

Litter picking a plenty with the Picker Pals Programme in Kilkenny

Litter picking a plenty with the Picker Pals Programme in Kilkenny

Áine Ni Mhuirthile and Ruán O Muirthile, supporters of the Picker Pal Programme

The Picker Pals programme which motivates children to lead litter-picking adventures with their families will be active in 16 classrooms across the city this November.

The programme was introduced into Kilkenny City last September by Mayor of Kilkenny Municipal District, Cllr Andrew McGuinness, and he is delighted at the eager response of schools.

“I’m excited at the level of interest shown by the primary schools and I must thank the teachers of 1st class across the City at being so receptive to the programme” commented the Mayor.  Given the positive response to the programme locally, Picker Pals which is operated by the environmental charity, VOICE Ireland, has generously offered it to an additional 20 classrooms in the wider County which was made possible by funding from the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.

“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,” said Angela Kenny Programme Manager of Picker Pals. Over this academic year, over 1,000 families will be engaged with the programme across the County with mini litter-picks taking place every weekend from now until June.

On hearing the announcement of the extension of the Programme to the wider County, Cathaoirleach 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.”

The programme instils a sense of environmental stewardship in children at an early age delivering the educational message in a fun way. Participating classes will have opportunities of additional educational supports throughout the year by taking advantage of online workshops provided by the Picker Pals Programme.

Bernadette Moloney, the Environmental Awareness Officer with Kilkenny County Council has worked closely with VOICE Ireland to ensure the programme gets off to a good start “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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