Matilda, 3, is keen to make a difference

Matilda Rusby cleans up rubbish in her street.
Matilda Rusby cleans up rubbish in her street.

A youngster has taken matters into her own hands to help clean up her community.

Three-year-old Matilda Rusby was left shocked at the amount of litter and dog mess in Tynemouth Road, North Shields, while out with her parents Frankie and Jake.

The family got gloves and bin bags to clean up the rubbish, removing all of it from Tynemouth Road.

And after informing ward councillor Karen Bolger of the work by Matilda, she arranged for ‘clean it up’ signs and extra bins to be installed on the road.

She has also organised a ‘ig Spring Clean set to take place on Saturday where residents will be geared up to get behind Matilda to put the pride back into their streets.

Frankie, 32, said: “As parents we teach our children what is right and wrong, and Matilda really takes this on board, particularly with litter.

“She was so affected by the rubbish on our streets, telling me that it was wrong and naughty I just couldn’t leave it.

“It’s a stark reminder of how bad things are when it takes a three-year-old to tell adults that this is wrong.

“I want to show her we can make a difference if we believe in something, and I have told her just what a difference she has already made to helping to clean up our neighbourhood.”

“I am proud that she has taken such an interest in this issue but when I saw her with gloves on picking up other people’s litter and putting it into her black bag I just thought ‘this isn’t right, my daughter should be playing on this street not cleaning it’ and so it went from there.”

Frankie, PR Director at Rusby Media, added: “I really hope that this is the beginning of a cleaner neighbourhood, we are seconds from Northumberland Park and minutes from Tynemouth beach so the road attracts a lot of footfall, but we shouldn’t have to suffer for that.

“I want to be proud of where we live when we step outside our front door.”

Matilda, who attends James Knott Nursery School, said: “You shouldn’t put rubbish or dog poo on the ground, it should be in the bin. It makes me feel really sad when I see it. I want people to clean up after themselves and make the streets nicer.”

Coun Bolger said: “We need to look forward with people of the future like Matilda and be proactive and be proud of our area, instead of just moaning about a problem.

“She has the right attitude and has been taught from a very young age that littering is wrong, and now we need to get behind her.

“There seems to be a whole section of society that thinks it is someone else’s job to pick up rubbish.”