Instruction Officer Ian Duey with community workers from HMP Standford Hill who have been busy clearing the beach of litter at Leysdown
A stretch of beach which was branded a disgrace has been cleaned up by a team of prisoners who are giving something back to the community.
Back in August, we reported how visitor Michael Vick was appalled at how much rubbish there was at Leysdown.
It was littered with glass, broken bottles, cans and other rubbish and he suggested inmates should clear it up.
After seeing the story, working out scheme manager at HMP Standford Hill Mick Wills agreed it would be a good use of their time, and sent the team out to see what they could do.
A group of four prisoners and instruction officer Ian Dewey went out and they collected 20 bags of rubbish from the stretch.
Much of it was litter which had washed up from the water and the rest was mainly plastic bottles and food wrappers.
It is hoped they will be able to permanently take on the cleaning of the beach and a meeting is due to take place this month with the owners of the private stretch to see if this can happen.
Swale council’s seafront officer Ian Arnell said: “I’m very pleased with their efforts.
“They did a really good job there and it’s a really positive thing.
“The beaches are cleaned [by council staff] on a daily basis but there are areas that we don’t get to as regularly like some of the private stretches so it’s really good to have this help at hand.”
Mr Vick, 63, said: “It’s nice it’s been done because it was a tip.
“It’s one of the few attractions in the borough and it could be so pleasant.
“I’m really pleased to hear it – that’s something worthwhile.”
Mr Wills said the working out team has been helping some of the elderly people’s groups in Leysdown as well as allotment holders in Sheerness and he said if any other community groups need work doing, they can get in touch.
“It gets prisoners back into the community – it’s about breaking the cycle and giving something back,” he added.
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