THEY are the volunteer litter-pickers who spend their spare time keeping a Hampshire town spick and span.

Team Totton comprises more than 25 people who have embarked on a quest to remove rubbish, restore footpaths and generally make the area a better place in which to live.

Members of the group turn out in all weathers, often collecting enough cans, bottles and wrappers in a week to fill 100 sacks.

Team Totton owes its origins to the first lockdown, which began almost a year ago.

Lisa Carter and two of her neighbours, Ben and Daniel Hoff, used their daily exercise time to tidy up the town's Green Route so walkers could comply with social distancing rules.

Two town councillors, Neville Penman and Dave Hills, became members of the group as well as providing it with help and information.

Cllr Penman has also supplied much-needed safety signs along with hi-vis vests.

Team Totton has helped combat loneliness and other problems caused by the pandemic by bringing people together and giving them a common goal.

Lisa said: "The team is much more than a group of litter-pickers, it's been a life-saver for some. It's given people a purpose to get up and get out, meet new people and use their exercise time for the good of the community.

"All over Totton you can see the orange vests of the volunteers.

"They go litter-picking in all weathers, filling up to 100 sacks a week as well as restoring walkways, cleaning road signs and generally taking pride in their community.

"Drivers wave and toot their appreciation, stop for a socially-distanced chat and even come by with take-out coffees for the team."

A JustGiving page launched to help meet the cost of kitting out the volunteers has already raised £1,766.

Lisa added: "The appreciation from the community, both in donations and messages, has been overwhelming. Every £1 raised will go towards the longevity of the group by providing much-needed equipment."

Several people have left messages of support on the page.

One couple said: "You are doing an amazing job clearing the trash out of Totton and sprucing up our pathways."


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