Rosie is Newtownabbey’s award-winning ‘litter hero’

Live Here Love Here manager Jodie McAneaney with Antrim and Newtownabbey Litter Heroes Award winner Rosie Watkins and Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council Cllr Paul Michael.
Live Here Love Here manager Jodie McAneaney with Antrim and Newtownabbey Litter Heroes Award winner Rosie Watkins and Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council Cllr Paul Michael.

Keen environmentalist Rosie Watkins is the winner of the Antrim and Newtownabbey Litter Heroes Award.

Rosie picked up the award at the third annual Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Community Awards which took place on Tuesday at Belfast City Hall.

The evening was held to recognise and thank all the volunteers who had been shortlisted for their “continued hard work and dedication”.

Rosie is an influential figure within the Friends of Whitehouse Lagoon group.

She understands the benefts of litter removal but also the implications of tackling waste and pollution by identifying and investigating potential sources.

Rosie’s enthusiasm has been described as “infectious” and the group at Whitehouse Lagoon say that they have been “influenced by her in a fantastic way”.

Live Here Love Here manager Jodie McAneaney commented: “These awards are so important, they give us the opportunity to highlight the issues and reward those who are actively making a difference.

“Plastic, in particular, has been hitting the headlines this year with its devasting effects, making our special guest Jo Ruxton the perfect candidate to inspire us to really strive for change.

“The fact that every piece of plastic ever created is still on the planet is a real eye opener.

“Hopefully in 2019 our continued efforts and that of our volunteers and partners can make steps towards tackling this terrible problem.

The evening was hosted by Ulster Television’s Joe Mahon, presenter of “Your Place and Mine” and Jo Ruxton, former producer, of BBC Television’s “Blue Planet”.

Guest speaker Jo Ruxton thanked the volunteers and encouraged them to make a stand in their local communities and champion the reduction of litter saying: “Never underestimate just how much one single person can achieve.

“The problem might seem insurmountable but take that first step on your own and just watch how many people join you and help bring about change.”