New environmental role bringing people together to keep Blaenau Gwent clean #ProudofBG

As a former member of the Armed Forces John Mewett is used to getting the job done, and getting the job done well.

Now he’s meeting a new challenge head on in his role as the Local Environment Quality Officer for Blaenau Gwent!

Funded by the Caru Cymru initiative, a part of Keep Wales Tidy, John is working to bring together people of all ages in a shared mission to tackle a range of environmental issues. This includes getting involved in looking after their local area, as well as trying to live more sustainably in order to tackle climate issues.

He’s off to a flying start, already working with Blaenau Gwent’s existing litter champions and community groups to aid their efforts by supplying all the necessary equipment and helping to organise clean-up events. He’s liaising with volunteers to find out how this amazing work could be extended wider.

He’s also working with schools, and encouraging local businesses and organisations to get on board and make their own pledge to help keep their surrounding area clean and tidy. We’ve already seen some pledges from Gwent Police; Wetherspoons Ebbw Vale; KFC; David Spears Van Dealership, and a growing number of schools.

John says:

“We are surrounded by some beautiful landscapes here in Blaenau Gwent, and there are so many people out there who are fiercely proud of their communities and where they live. We want to work with those people to say ‘what do you need’ and ‘how can we help you’ to look after your local area. We have some fantastic litter champions already, and we are looking to enhance our work with these wonderful volunteers going forward.

“I also really love working with the schools, not only is it great fun but we get to help shape the way these young people feel about their environment and how they can live more sustainably. There is some great work going on in schools already, and I’m pleased to be able to support that in whatever way I can. The pupils we work with are our future generations, so it’s important we give them the tools they need to build a bright future. They can pass the good work on to their parents, too!”

Sarah Hulme, Teacher at Roseheyworth Road Primary Campus, says:

“Thanks to the kind donation from the Council of litter picking equipment, and the support we have received from John, we have been able to develop a project involving our learners, their families and the community in which we live.

“Litter picking in our local area has not only been a fun outdoor activity bringing families together, it has enabled our learners to begin their journey as responsible citizens who respect their environment.”

Councillor Joanna Wilkins, the Council’s Executive Member for the Environment says:

“One of our top priorities as a Council is looking after the Environment. It is disappointing that there are some still minded to spoil our lovely area, but for every one of those there are many, many more who take great pride in where they live and want to work with us to look after Blaenau Gwent. I’d like to thank all our litter champions for their amazing work and I’m delighted we have John on board now to be a link and support for them. He’s so enthusiastic and really getting stuck in!”
We’ll be highlighting some of this excellent work going on around the borough and we’re asking anyone taking part in any events to please join in and tag the Council in their Twitter and Facebook posts, and use the hashtag #ProudofBG

It could be one bag of litter collected – or hundreds – it all counts in the effort to keep Blaenau Gwent tidy.

If you would like to get involved in John’s work then please contact him at