On Sunday the 13th of February 2022 a team of about 25 volunteers from ASEZ WAO and the World Mission Society Church of God gathered to carry out their 6613th worldwide clean-up campaign with Mothers love.
This time the location was the Old Trafford area around Shrewsbury street known as “The Triangle.”
According to the data published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on Fly-tipping in England, in February 2022. Fly-tipping in Trafford has been on a steady rise since 2015.
These figures however may correctly show the extent of fly-tipping incidents as some go unreported. However, whether the incidents are visible on the datasheet or not they are very visible to residences. They cause a constant eyesore and stir up a variety of emotions such as frustration, anger and despair.
Their reaction is not unwarranted. There are a number of studies and a lot of talk about the connection between cleanliness, good mental health and general wellbeing. Some experts say that a messy house can contribute to feelings of anxiety and stress.
Also, some studies have found that people who keep their homes clean tended to be healthier, less likely to be depressed, sleep better, complete tasks better and generally have better mental health and quality of life.
Dr. Lauren Napolitano, a psychologist, said, “Purging unused items helps you feel calmer about your stressors. A small project like organizing your kitchen junk drawer can lead to emotional organization.”
There is a link between our mind and our health and our mind and cleaning. Cleaning is not just an act of removing visible dirt, but a cleansing of the mind.
Constant fly-tipping blighting Old Trafford and anywhere is not just an eyesore but causes mental and emotional damage to the people in the community.
According to the broken windows theory, when people see something is not taken care of, they are more likely to not take care of it and if people see something taken care of, they are more likely to take care of it.
Fly-tipping events can lead to a downward spiral resulting in even more serious crimes while if it can be stopped crime rate can decrease and an area can even be rejuvenated. This is not just a fantasy but has been tried and tested with a number of successful cases.
The Triangle in Old Trafford is an area between Ayres Road, Shrewsbury Street, and Henrietta street. It is an area that has been plagued with fly-tipping. It is only a small area but even contains two streets on the list of top five fly-tipped streets in Old Trafford, Ayers Road, and Langshaw Street.
Much effort has been made on the area so far by the council however the battle has not yet been won. Residents have expressed their despair, some with tears and some voicing their desire to give up and leave the area.
After a successful battle along Wright Street through numerous clean-up campaigns from ASEZ WAO and the World Mission Society Church of God volunteers, and support from Trafford council which saw the reduction of fly-tipping and end of a serious fly-tipping hot spot, the sights have now been set on the Triangle.
The rain was heavy but it calmed down allowing the volunteers to work. They split up into groups and cleaned along Shrewsbury street and also Greenlaw Close.
Right away the volunteers were met with a heap of fly-tipped items such as sofa chairs, chests of draws, carpet, wooden items and a mattress.
Gathering their strength together they worked in teams to carry the heavy items to the rubbish collection point just inside Hullard Park. Meanwhile, others collected and bagged the small items and made the streets look clean again.
Working through the cold and rain time flew by as they enjoyed carrying out their work with bright smiles on their faces and spurred on by shouts of encouragement and approval from passers-by.
By the end literally, a mini mountain of rubbish had been gathered, (about 50 bags and other items estimated at 800kg) causing residents to stop and take pictures.
ASEZ WAO (Save the Earth from A to Z) is the young adult worker volunteer group from the World Mission Society Church of God. They were also joined by university volunteers (ASEZ) and adult volunteers from the church and were very pleased with the result.
ASEZ WAO and ASEZ recently were awarded at the Green Awards with the Green Apple and Green World award and were appointed as Green Ambassadors representing the UK.
A group of volunteers from the World Mission Society Church of God (UK Zion) also were awarded the Queen’s Award in 2016.
The recognition is a great encouragement to the volunteers who are trying to make an impact for positive change and the church is very proud of their groups who keep being recognised for high standards of excellence in volunteering.
One volunteer Shakira Thomas seeing the rubbish said: “This area really needs Mothers’ love.”
People usually say something needs TLC. But the volunteers usually say “Mothers love.” It comes from their belief in God the Mother and also embodies the deep sacrificial love of a mother.
Fly-tipping is not just a one-off issue, it is the result of a mindset.
To change and heal the area, we can’t just point out the increase of incidents or speak about what the council is doing. But we all need to change, take action and work together.
This involves humbling ourselves and doing the work that actually is not technically our responsibility. Just like a mother who sacrifices and takes care of so many things for the benefit of her family until her children mature into responsible adults. When others see they too will be able to change.
There are many other people and groups working for the benefit of Trafford, the UK, and the world in difficult times.
The volunteers thank them and hope that they do not give up as they will not either. And they look forward to working together with some of them during the Great British Spring Clean is coming up (25th March to 10th of April).
By understanding the needs of our community and the people in it, we hope that we can continually deliver the love of a Mother until all of Trafford is bright and shiny, outwardly and inwardly, and becomes a borough that all of us can be even more proud off.
With high hopes for the future, all the volunteers send a big “We love you” to everyone.
(Written by: Joe Adams)