The Shields Ferry crew have joined forces with community volunteers for a riverside clean up event.
The Riverside Project Group was set up by residents in January with the aim of helping to preserve and protect riverside areas in South Tyneside.
And it kick-started its activity with a clean-up of the embankment near the South Shields Ferry Landing, clearing 20 bags of plastic and debris.
Shields Ferry Manager, Carol Timlin, said: “Our crew were delighted to play a part in this important community event, which was so vital for clearing plastics, litter and debris from the local riverbank close to our South Shields landing.
“The Shields Ferry is big part of the community so we didn’t have any hesitation in helping out. All of the litter picking was conducted safely and with social distancing in place.
“The clean-up campaign will help to improve the environment on our doorstep eliminate the amount of litter and plastics that gets thrown into the river.
“The volunteer group has collected an enormous amount of waste close to the ferry landing and we would like to encourage more people to get involved in future events.”
Paul Mossa, local resident and Chair of the Riverside Project Group said: "We are just a group of local people who are passionate about helping to look after and protect the riverside area and doing what we can to support our community.
"We set up the group with just a couple of members earlier this year and had decided to start off with a clean-up in the spring as the embankment was full of plastics, litter and debris, which could easily end up in the river and the sea. But then Covid stopped everything.
"Over that time though, we've gained more members and then saw more than 50 people turn out for our first event, which was absolutely fantastic. We've also had such a brilliant response from local organisations and businesses and can't thank them enough for their support."
The riverside clean-up event involved local councillors, Nexus Ferry crew and other volunteers from across the wider community.
South Tyneside Council provided PPE and the event was supported by the Port of Tyne Harbour Master which helped to ensure boats and speeding crafts kept their distance.
Other organisations to provide support included Above the Action, Tyne and Wear Marine Ltd, Swiftwater Solutions Ltd, BlackTip Social, Taurus Eng Ltd and Colmans Seafood Temple.
Going forward, the Riverside Project Group is looking to organise more clean-up events as well as other ways to support the local community and fundraise for its chosen charity Mental Health Concern - Moving forward South Tyneside.
The group was inspired by the Borough's #LoveSouthTyneside campaign which was launched in February 2019 to celebrate civic pride, raise awareness of community events and volunteering opportunities and promote the area.
Find out more about #LoveSouthTyneside visit www.lovesouthtyneside.co.uk
For further information about Riverside Project Group and how to get involved, visit the group's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RiversideProjectGroup/