Lambeth Council’s new volunteer snow warden scheme is up and running after the first wave of residents received their training.
Around 100 residents from across the borough have so far volunteered to be part of the scheme, which is seeing the council give away free grit to residents who want to help clear snow and ice from their neighbourhoods, should London experience a repeat of the cold weather of the previous few winters.
The volunteers have this week been given basic health and safety training at Lambeth Town Hall, and will be issued with gloves, shovels, grit bins and hi-visibility jackets next week.
One of the first wave of volunteers was Sarah Goldman of Abbotswood Road, Streatham. She has volunteered to act as a Snow Warden Leader for her area, and is now passing on the training to four of her neighbours and friends who will all be ready to volunteer together to clear snow from their road should it arrive.
Sarah said: ”I first found out about the scheme through Neighbourhood Watch, as I’m co-ordinator for our road, and I put the idea to our residents association at a meeting and four other people volunteered.
“We feel it is an excellent idea and a way of giving something back to the community. The training session was informative and fun and it was nice to meet other like minded residents. I came away with feeling that a little help can go a long way – the council does not expect or want volunteers to clear huge amounts of snow, just to do what you can for your community, and do it safely. The more people that volunteer in your road and street the more successful the scheme will be.”
The sessions saw the volunteers given instructions on how much grit it is necessary to spread on pavements in order to melt snow and ice, when to start gritting, as well as advice on keeping safe when they are out and about.
Councllor Jackie Meldrum, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “I’m really pleased to see this scheme get off to such a great start, and the number of people volunteering just goes to show that there’s real community spirit out there.
“People have told us in the past that they would be happy to help their neighbours by clearing snow if they had the tools to do so, so this scheme is responding to public demand. It’s a great example of what we mean by Lambeth as a cooperative borough.
“There is still time to get in touch if you would like to become a volunteer snow warden, and we would love to here from you.”
To learn more or to volunteer email SnowWardens@lambeth.gov.uk or telephone 020 7926 0524.
Lambeth has a priority system for clearing snow which means that when snow falls, staff concentrate on key transport routes. The Snow Warden scheme will not replace any gritting previously done by council staff. It will mean more of the borough’s pavements are gritted, and will be extra to the council’s normal winter service.
Lambeth has spent the past few months replenishing salt supplies, stockpiling more than 1,000 tonnes of grit this year to keep the borough moving this winter.