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Community initiative tackles litter and mental health in Aberdeen

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A north-east community initiative has been launched to clean up the city whilst starting conversations about mental health.

Community cleanUP is a venture that aims both to enhance Aberdeen’s appearance and “generate conversations around mental health.”

It was devised by the mental health peer support group ManUp SpeakUp and councillor Claire Imrie and Omniscient Safety Innovations Ltd have also joined together to highlight the scheme.

Founder of the initiative Mike Scotland said: “I used to battle my own mental health challenges and was so consumed with my own thoughts I was almost oblivious to the litter that surrounded me as I tried to deal with the trash that built up in my own head.”

The plan has been organised to bring people from different backgrounds together to get out and talk whilst doing a good deed.

Mr Scotland also hopes it will allow people to take renewed pride in their surroundings.

Cllr Imrie said: “The simple act of talking can improve mental health and when combined with physical activity, mental well-being will be further boosted.”

Founder of Omniscient Safety Innovations Ltd, Brett Townsley, echoed the benefits the initiative has for the community and the environment.

He said: “Bringing people together, for a common good, is a great way to do something positive for the community and for individuals.

“It allows people to connect and even share difficult conversations in a productive environment.”

The first official clean-up took place on January 25 at Mugiemoss Road and several other events have already been planned.

Those interested can also join the community cleanUP Facebook group.

 

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