Hannah with Lyle, Brodie, Daisy and Ian from Flowerbank ECC

‘Harriet Hedgehog Needs Help!’ litter initiative launched at Flowerbank ECC

A new litter initiative for Early Years – Harriet Hedgehog Needs Help! – launched at Flowerbank Early Childhood Centre recently.

Harriet Hedgehog Needs Help! is a beautiful, new early level resource that has been created by a group of early learning and childcare practitioners in partnership with the Sustainability, Climate Change and Active Travel team, as part of the Litter around Schools campaign. It aims to empower and educate our youngest learners, while informing them of the potential consequences of littering.

The team behind this project, namely Vicky McWilliam, Hannah Willow, Lindsey McCabe, Janine McLure, Elaine Love and Lynne Hettrick, met for the first time just over a year ago to start developing ideas for new resources for early years. They are an incredibly creative group and it turned out that Hannah was a published author and illustrator, as part of the project she developed artwork for Harriet and produced a book for our Early Childhood Centres and primary schools.

The book and accompanying resources, that include games and songs, have been very well received by the children and staff and have already been developed by Raising Aspirations in Science Education teacher, Rachel Smith as transition material for children starting Primary One.

Councillor Graham Barton, Spokesperson for Planning, Property and Environment was joined at the launch by Councillor Neal Ingram and Councillor Barry Douglas and representatives from Cleaner and Greener Communities, and the Corporate Enforcement Unit. Councillor Barton said: “On the day that Spring Clean Scotland 2024 launched, it was brilliant to be at Flowerbank Early Childhood Centre to find out more about Harriet Hedgehog and the work that is being carried out across East Ayrshire to highlight the impact that litter has on our environment.

“Harriet Hedgehog Needs Help! – is a fantastic initiative, I was so impressed by Hannah’s artwork and story, and to see the children so engaged with Harriet was really lovely. I was told that Harriet’s story had to be read many times over as each child wanted a shot of holding the Harriet toy, while the story was being read.

“Our Early Childhood Centres are very engaged with their local communities and each have been out with the children picking up litter. This new resource helps to explain the consequences of littering and why it is important not to litter, it helps explain sustainability to our youngest learners and encourages a cleaner brighter future – something that I think we all aspire to.

“Congratulations to Vicky McWilliam and the whole team on this wonderful initiative. I am sure that it is going to have a significant impact.”