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How 12-year-old Keiran Blundell helps keep streets around his Costessey home clean

South Norfolk Community Awards. Young Volunteer of the Year Keiran Blundell. Picture by: DUNCAN KERRIDGE

South Norfolk Community Awards. Young Volunteer of the Year Keiran Blundell. Picture by: DUNCAN KERRIDGE

Duncan Kerridge.

Many of us might expect to have to teach our children or grandchildren never to throw litter.

But Keiran Blundell is setting a sterling example to people many years his senior by single-handedly organising clean-ups around his home village to make it a nicer place to live and visit.

While most people his age might have been playing computer games or having a game of football, Keiran began to pound the streets armed with a bin bag and a litter picker when he was aged just seven or eight.

Although he often brings friends along to help him, Keiran – now 12 years old – is not averse to going out on his own, under the watchful eye of dad Gary Blundell.

Even poor weather cannot put the Hethersett Academy pupil – of Queen’s Hill, Costessey – off, as he once collected 22 bags full of rubbish in freezing snow.

He frequently goes litter-picking in the cold and rain.

“I like to keep my community nice and clean for other young people to play in,” he said.

“If people walk down the street and find litter, they might think it is not a nice place to visit.”

Keiran, formerly of Queen’s Hill Primary School, said he was “really happy” and “over the moon” to win Young Volunteer of the Year at the South Norfolk Community Awards.

Mr Blundell said: “We are extremely proud. It was well-deserved. Just to be shortlisted was great.”

He added that Keiran and the other award South Norfolk Community Awards winners are “out there” but “don’t grumble”.

He added: “That’s what the spirit of volunteering is all about – getting out there volunteering, helping your community but not expecting anything in return.”

In the awards programme, Keiran was described as a “role model to younger children”.

And his volunteering does not end there – he has also helped to organise a community fete and maintain a youth garden.

Others nominated in the Young Volunteer of the Year category were Abbie Howell, who helps at a dementia care home, and Libby Elliott, who helps out at her local football club.

Also shortlisted was Hayley Argyle, who arranged a musical theatre evening.

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