Afan Zakullah tells us how the Tod street clean-up went.

Tod has always been my home and it’s important to me that it looks nice. But on the morning of the Tod street clean-up, which was also a Sunday, I woke up to heavy rain. It was probably the worst day to clean Tod’s streets! But I’d promised my uncle I’d help out and I wasn’t going to let him down.

My uncle is part of the mosque committee and he’d told me a few weeks before about the clean-up. The idea was to give something back to the community and cleaning Tod’s streets, two days before Christmas Day, seemed like a nice thing to do for the town.

I had my usual breakfast in the morning, tea and bread, and got into warm clothes. There were about fifteen people already waiting at the mosque when I arrived. This was really impressive given the weather, the early Sunday morning start and the fact that some of the men hadn’t slept much because they'd been working through the night on taxi shifts.

Before we started, we were given gloves and bin bags, provided by the local council in support of what we were doing. We were then split into groups, given a map of the area we were to cover and sent on our way. Picking up litter isn't nice but I certainly came across some surprising stuff. For example, I found out how difficult it is to pick up wet card board. It just sticks to the ground and you have to really work at peeling it off. Another thing was the amount of bottle lids and tops I found on the streets. It really makes you wonder how they got there!

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We spent about two hours cleaning up the streets and all the way through it everyone was really upbeat. When we finished, the mosque provided us with tea and biscuits, which we really appreciated.

I would definitely say that the Tod street clean-up was a good thing to get involved in. The only thing I would change would be to get more young people involved. Many of my friends didn't know about it. But next time they will, because I hear the mosque committee has decided to hand over all responsibility for the next Tod street clean-up to the young members of the group. We’ll be in charge of all the arrangements, the budgets and making sure word gets out about the event. And hopefully, next time, with spring approaching, it won’t be so rainy and cold.