Belfast Telegraph

Big Spring Clean: With a little help from our friends... 100,000 helpers sought

By Linda Stewart

Take a look at this spectacular image – and see if you can spot any familiar faces.

This is our Big Spring Clean homage to one of the world's most recognisable album covers – Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles.

This year we want 100,000 people across Northern Ireland to roll up their sleeves and tidy up their area.

And we're hoping to inspire people to take pride in their community with this montage of many of the people who supported our Big Spring Clean over the last four years. Instead of Oscar Wilde, Oliver Hardy, Bob Dylan and Marilyn Monroe, we have famous local faces – such as Joe Mahon, Paddy Barnes, Jimeoin, Brian Kennedy and Lynda Bryans – all of whom have backed the Belfast Telegraph's huge litter campaign.

We have joined forces with Tidy Northern Ireland and DoE Rethink Waste and inspired tens of thousands of local people to tackle the litter blighting their area. Last year more than 53,000 people got involved, removing 163 tonnes of waste from their surroundings, and later this week we will be launching the 2014 campaign in a bid to get 100,000 people cleaning up their towns and countryside.

The Big Spring Clean has become Northern Ireland's largest voluntary campaign to improve the environment.

If you would like to join our green army this April, it's easy. All you have to do is get involved in a clean-up event in your area or even organise your own. It doesn't matter how big or small your event is. The programme supports community clean-ups across all 26 council areas in Northern Ireland and is open to people and groups from all communities who want to rid their area of litter.

The Big Spring Clean launch this Thursday will also mark the relaunch of Tidy Northern Ireland as Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

In March the group is also launching the first People's Litter Summit, giving the public the chance to air their views and learn more about littering, dog fouling and fly-tipping. Mentalist David Meade will be offering ideas on how to change littering behaviour, while legal expert David Armstrong from Mallard Consultancy will advise on dog fouling issues at the event at W5 on March 8. For more information email sandra.hughes@tidynorthernireland.org.

If you want to get involved in the Big Spring Clean visit www.bigspringcleanni.org, follow the campaign on Twitter and Facebook, or call Nicola Murray at Tidy Northern Ireland at 028 9073 6920.

A design inspired by classic Beatles album art

It took piles of litter-pickers, Wellington boots, reusable shopping bags, refuse bags, high visibility vests, a paint-roller, three floor brushes, a pair of gardening gloves, a wheelie bin – and a copy of the Belfast Telegraph.

Designer David Ayres, of London-based Ayres Design Company, came up with the idea to create a pastiche photo based on the famous Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover by The Beatles.

"It's my job to come up with something a little different," he said.

"A big part of what they do is getting celebrities to back the campaign and it came to my mind that this could be a great idea, especially if we could get into lots of little hints and cleaning up Northern Ireland.

"If it's something that gets people to stop and look, they might be able to think about the whole campaign. If they can get 100,000 people this year it will be quite an achievement."

There was nowhere big enough to photograph everyone at once, so the pictures of schoolchildren, volunteers, supporters, MLAs and celebrities were taken in relays throughout the day.

"It was a really fun photoshoot," David said.

"I knew the key people I needed to be in certain positions. I could see in my mind's eye where I wanted to fit them in later on. We had some great models there who really got into it.

"Everyone was great fun and easy to work with.

"It's not every day I get to do something as really interesting as that."

The image will appear on all the Big Spring Clean social media and Press releases as well as posters and postcards included in the clean-up kits. Tidy Northern Ireland is also open to offers from anyone who wants to sponsor a billboard.

Katy Jenkins, campaign manager at Tidy Northern Ireland, said: "We wanted to create an image that was visually striking and represented people coming together for Big Spring Clean.

"The album cover is an iconic piece of artwork and allowed us to include different groups of people of all who support the campaign," she added.

Our Beatles-style tribute to the Big Spring Clean campaign

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