No Christmas break for litter picker Janet

Janet Cox of Percival Street who goes out litter picking every day EMN-151222-140319009
Janet Cox of Percival Street who goes out litter picking every day EMN-151222-140319009
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A volunteer street cleaner who has picked up litter every day for over five years, including Christmas Day, has been recognised with a civic award.

Janet Cox (79) has defied the changeable British weather and the pain in her knee and ankle joints to keep West Town looking pristine as a Street Leader for Peterborough City Council.

And Janet, who always cleans by her home in Percival Road, is so proud of her work she boasted: “When you walk around the streets of Peterborough you will not find one as clean as this.”

Last Thursday, Janet won an Environment Civic Award to recognise her unstinting hard work which sees her litter pick for at least 30 minutes every day, and often for an hour on a Sunday.

The council’s Civic Awards were announced last week with the awards to be handed out in February.

Janet, who was a care assistant at Peterborough District Hospital for 27 years, was nominated by Councillor Andy Coles who heard about her volunteering from PCSO Ronnie Durrell.

Janet said: “I was really chuffed that someone had nominated me. I never had a thought in my head I would get rewarded for something I enjoy doing. I’ve been living here 37 years and I wanted the area to stay nice.”

Janet is a popular person in the local community, but even those who do not know her are still impressed by her efforts, including one driver who got out of her car to hand Janet a box of Cadbury’s biscuits.

“She said ‘I’ve been looking for you. I think what you do is jolly good’,” added Janet. “She didn’t know me from Adam but she regularly sees me.”

Janet’s daily litter pick took a turn for the unusual 13 months ago when she found an abandoned rabbit behind a chip shop, but the animal lover’s compassion meant that she had no choice but to take ‘Bunnykins’ home.

PCSO Durrell said: “Jan is very much appreciated by the community for her efforts and her positive contribution in trying to make the area a better place in which to live.”