School friends inspire others to help save the planet after successful Blyth beach clean

Two inspirational young eco-warriors who arranged their own beach clean returned to the junior school where they met eight years ago, to encourage others to help save the planet.

Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 1:23 pm

Close friends William Kirvan and Willow Anderson, both from Newcastle, organised a large litter pick at South Beach, in Blyth, where they and ten classmates from Year 7 at Dame Allan’s Schools filled more than a dozen large sacks with waste.

The 12-year-olds, who are both interested in environmental conservation, returned to Dame Allan’s Junior School, where they first met in Reception class in 2014, and gave a presentation about their project to around 120 pupils from years 5 and 6.

William, who as a scout is often involved in community environmental work, said: “We wanted to talk to the younger Dame Allan’s pupils because it’s important to encourage people from an early age to make a difference.

William Kirvan and Willow Anderson.

“We told them all about our beach clean, then challenged them to do their bit for the planet and start picking up litter.”

William and Willow contacted Blyth Town Council for permission to carry out the beach clean last month, and asked Surfers Against Sewage for the equipment, including bags and gloves, as well as guidance, insurance and first aid.

They designed posters ahead of the event to encourage their classmates in Dame Allan’s Boys’ and Girls’ Schools to get involved, and negotiated free ice cream from the local parlour.

Willow, who also helps in her local community and is interested in animal welfare, said: “The beach clean was really successful and we collected so much litter, including food wrappers, cans, bottles, nappies and baby wipes. We filled at least one large bag each; some people filled two!

Some of those involved in the Blyth beach clean.

“Both William and I want to get involved in new projects and perhaps arrange more litter picks, as well as encourage others to do the same.”

William’s mum Belinda Kirvan said she and Willow’s mum, Joanne Marshall, felt incredibly proud of their children.

“They’ve been such close friends for years and, together, are so passionate about helping to save the planet,” she said.

“Not only did they arrange the whole clean themselves, but they’ve gone on to plan a great presentation for the juniors, and inspire others to do something that makes a difference in their own local communities.”