Paddle boarders and volunteer pickers cleared half a tonne of litter from the Thames and towpaths in Richmond last week.

Around 110 paddle boarders and another 120 volunteers from businesses and charities took part in the ‘Get on Board – say no to plastic pollution’ event, organised by Be Richmond.

Among the volunteers were members of the homeless community, led by Shepherd’s Star, a Richmond charity dedicated to relieving poverty, hardship and social exclusion.

Involvement in community projects helps people in crisis build self-confidence, develop skills and reignite individual potential.

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Paddle boarders arriving in Richmond (Be Richmond)Paddle boarders arriving in Richmond (Be Richmond)

Be Richmond manager, Ellen Amorina Storrar, said: “This was a hugely successful event. Plastic pollution of our oceans is a huge global issue.

“We know that most of the plastic in the oceans is originally discarded into rivers and the situation in the Thames is getting worse.

“By clearing our stretch of the Thames, Richmond has shown what is possible when the whole community works together. We are so proud of the efforts of our volunteers.”

Also taking part were Richmond council leader Gareth Roberts on the water, and Mayor Geoff Acton on the towpath.

It was the third running of Get on Board following successful river clean ups in 2018 and 2019. The planned 2020 event was cancelled because of Covid.