Service ... St Kevin's College Leo Club chairwoman Cushla Bridges (16) says volunteering is much more fun when it is done in a group. PHOTO: RUBY HEYWARD

When it comes to volunteering, the more the merrier.

At least that is how Cushla Bridges (16) sees it.

If you are out picking up rubbish, it is always much more fun if you are doing it with a mate, the St Kevin’s College pupil says.

That was why she joined the secondary school’s Leo Club last year.

Now in year 12, she is the Leo Club chairwoman, and the group has about 20 to 30 members, who all have an interest in service.

Working in a group had a social incentitive, which Cushla hoped would encourage more young people to get involved.

One of the group’s biggest volunteer events was an annual clean-up at the Oamaru Public Gardens, which it did with the help of the Lions Club of Oamaru.

Last year, the group collected about three industrial sacks of rubbish. There were many cans, and many had been there for a long time, she said.

Cushla was most surprised by the “disheartening” amount of tiny plastics the group’s members found.

“It’s sad, considering the gardens are there for the whole community,” Cushla said.

With a rise in environmental activism, the group had opened the clean-up event to the public for the first time.

“It would be good to see everyone joining in.”

The gardens were always well maintained, so it would be nice for other people to get involved and help set the space up for summer, she said.

The Leo Club’s clean-up event was part of Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s Clean-Up Week 2021 and had been scheduled for the end of this month. However, it had been postponed to October 30 due to Covid-19.

Those wanting to be involved should bring their own gloves and tongs for grimy items.

The Leo Club encouraged people bring their own biodegradable bags, but could provide some for those without.

“If you’re coming out, you don’t have to come for the whole time – come for your morning walk.

“There’s always rubbish to be picked up … sadly it doesn’t just biodegrade.”

The clean up would run from 10am to 2pm on October 30.