Whitehead Community Association has presented its coveted Citizen of the Year award to local man Stan Woods.
The award was presented for Stan’s “tireless efforts with Whitehead Wombles to keep our roads and thoroughfares clean”, a spokesperson said.
The Association also agreed that “his insatiable desire to make Whitehead and its community an even better place for us all to live, makes this a thoroughly well deserved award”.
Stan is one of two regular volunteers with Whitehead Wombles.
With Noel McKee, the pair collect litter every three weeks, summer and winter, over a four-mile stretch from Kilroot to Whitehead.
During each collection,t hey fill between 25 and 30 bags with rubbish dropped mainly from passing cars.
In summer, Stan and Noel cut grass at three of Whitehead’s main thoroughfares.
Earlier this year, their efforts were officially recoignised by the first ever ‘Live Here, Love Here’ Community Awards organised by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful for ‘going above and beyond expectations”.
These awards were presented by Mid and East Antrim Mayor Councillor Audrey Wales.
Stan said he believes his efforts have been recognised as his litter picking concentrates mainly on the town centre area of Whitehead.
He added modestly that he is just one half of the Whitehead Wombles.
“It is recognition for the Wombles,” he stressed.
He went on say he believes that the removal of litter from local streets is “very important”.
“Whitehead definitely needs it. We live in a beautiful part of the world and I get sick of people dropping litter.”
Last week, ‘Live Here, Love Here’ launched a small grants programme aimed at community groups in a bid to reduce litter and dog fouling.
Stan is also a member of the local Neighbourhood Watch scheme and has been credited with “years of work” with Windsor Community Association in Whitehead.