Eleven 11 year olds aim to tackle river litter

Meet Dora Szele-Menyhart, a soon to be 11 year old with a birthday wish to help the environment.

Dora has organised ten of her friends, that’s eleven 11 year olds, to undertake a sponsored litter pick along the River Aire in Hunslet. They aim to collect 11 bags of rubbish. It takes place on Saturday (5 March 2022) starting at … 11am of course.

Dora, who attends Low Road Primary School, says the river is important to her family who live close by. It’s a great place for a walk when they want to switch off.

“It’s hard nowadays to avoid hearing about environmental issues like pollution and global warming” said Dora. “I‘ve been influenced by Greta Thunberg and while the politicians were making big promises at COP26 I kept thinking what could I do to prevent the environmental catastrophe.

“The lightbulb moment came when I heard that one of my teacher’s grandsons did a sponsored walk to support a medical charity. I told my mum that I would like to do the same for an environmental cause and I had her support from the very first moment.

“First, we did a bit of talking and planning. Although I would like to solve worlds’ problems to avoid future disaster, I had to accept that it all starts here and now. Baby steps, as they call it. Since we live close to River Aire we contacted Karen Peters from Friends of The Aire – South Leeds to check if the idea was somewhat feasible and useful for the group. Karen was very supportive, and her suggestions helped shape the fundraising walk. She also helped a lot with the justgiving.com page.

“On 5 March 2022, me and my friends will walk and collect at least 11 bags of rubbish alongside the River Aire in Hunslet. Strangely, it would be a success if we could NOT collect 11 bags of litter. Knowing the state of the riverbank unfortunately we may even overachieve.

“I am organizing this fundraising and litter picking walk to raise awareness of the quantity of rubbish built up in and around the river. Whilst we pick the litter at the riverbank group Friends of The Aire is looking to buy a boat to clear the river from the water.

If you would like to support Dora’s efforts, you can donate at her Just Giving page here. As they were born in 2011, they have set themselves the target of raising £2,011.