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YMCA team cleans up

27 May 2013

YMCA team cleans up Image

A team of volunteers from YMCA Docklands has adopted a neglected and polluted section of riverbank.

The riverbank, next to the Webb Bridge near the YMCA gym at ANZ, was strewn with rubbish before the team began its clean-up on May 24.

The clean-up action was carried out as part of a new YMCA Docklands Pride program by seven staff, led by manager Andrew Ward.

And they plan to continue to maintain the site, having been granted a licence to act as its custodian for 12 months.

Mr Ward is also a representative on the Docklands Community Forum and started the Docklands Pride program to encourage volunteerism and pride in Docklands amongst his staff.

“Docklands is a wonderful place to work and live, and this message doesn’t come through enough,” Mr Ward said.

“I believe the Docklands community is looking for more ways to engage in the space, and want to be proud of saying they live or work in Docklands.”

Mr Ward said the project could also create a model for other businesses in the area which may want to start up a similar scheme but weren’t sure how to start.

“The point here is more about encouraging other companies to also have their own piece of Docklands, and engage their employees,” Mr Ward said.

“If we already know the path, then we can encourage others.”

Places Victoria general manager Simon Wilson said his organisation was supportive of YMCA’s clean-up initiative.

He said Places Victoria and City of Melbourne were working on plans to prevent rubbish from accumulating in the area adjacent to the Jim Stynes Bridge connection to Docklands.

Apart from the environmental cleanup program, YMCA Docklands is also working on other community initiatives.

Over the past 12 months YMCA has provided health and wellness services for asylum seekers.

The YMCA has also forged partnerships with several charities that work with people who are homeless and suffering disadvantage in order to provide fitness programs.

According to Mr Ward, there is no other health club in Australia that is doing this level of community work.

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