Students get their hands dirty in a bid to ‘Keep Salford Tidy’

Students from City Skills, part of Salford City College, clean up Salford during ‘Keep Britain Tidy Week’. 

9 May 2019

Last month, students studying English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at City Skills, part of Salford City College, took part in a big clean up of The River Irwell, which is local to the college.

The eco-conscious students led the clean-up initiative which had the full backing of The Environments Agency and The Lottery Heritage Fund as well as local groups and organisations including Salford City Council, The University of Salford, The Park Rangers of Peel Park and of course staff and senior leaders from the college.

The big clean took place to coincide with the nationwide ‘Keep Britain Tidy Week’ Campaign and saw students join forces with the River Anglers Conservation Group, of which one of their teachers, Simon Thomas, is a volunteer for. He said: “It was an absolutely fantastic day for all involved and the national feedback the River Anglers Conservation Group has received has been overwhelming due to the sheer amount of rubbish that was taken from the River Irwell.”

The group is a nationwide angling organisation whose aim is to promote the sustainable management and conservation of the UK’s rivers, and they couldn’t have been more grateful for the contribution and manpower provided by students at City Skills. Simon continued: “Seeing students get so involved and their teamwork on the day was incredible. You could tell everyone felt extremely proud knowing that we had all made a difference to the local environment and community.

“But I have to say, the most important thing that possibly came from this initiative was the fact we were able to educate the young people living and studying in this area, not to throw litter and look after the environment and the and planet. This education is paramount to all of our futures.”

Students armed themselves with litter pickers, gloves and rubbish bags on the day to assist with the clean up after previously visiting Peel Park, where the River Irwell runs, and feeling alarmed by the amount of rubbish was in the area.

Elizabeth Jay, Head of ESOL at City Skills, said: “I am incredibly proud of all of our students who were involved in this initiative and proud of their hard work and determination. ESOL students chose to clean up Peel Park as part of the Aspire Programme put on here at the college. The programme is a way of recognising those students who do extra things outside of their studies and exceed what is expected of them as a college student.

“These students certainly exceeded all expectations. They worked tirelessly throughout the day not only picking up litter but also clearing a huge amount of debris from the River Irwell. They learned that teamwork and effort can lead to amazing results; in this case a beautifully clean park and river for the whole Salford community to enjoy!”

If you would like to find about more about studying ESOL in Salford or about any other courses offered at City Skills, please contact the college’s admissions team on 0161 631 5000 or email them at


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