'He loves it' - Litterpicking youngster overjoys town

Hayden Everett from Dereham has been picking litter in his spare time.
Byline: Sonya Duncan

Hayden Everett from Dereham has been picking litter in his spare time. Byline: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A Dereham youngster has captured the hearts of his town with his love of litter-picking.

For the last two weeks, 11-year-old Hayden Everett has been out and about across the mid-Norfolk town, picking up rubbish wherever he finds it. 

Hayden’s mum, Gemma, said her son’s passion for litter-picking could be traced back to learning about his uncle’s job as a litter-picker with Serco. 

Hayden Everett from Dereham has been picking litter in his spare time.
Byline: Sonya Duncan

Hayden Everett from Dereham has been picking litter in his spare time. Byline: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

“Hayds has always had an interest in it,” said Mrs Everett.

“He likes to be tidy and he likes to pick things up - he likes the thought of everyone helping.”


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After learning about a local litter-picking group, but being unable to attend the first session, Hayden asked his mum if he could go out litter-picking himself. 

Hayden Everett from Dereham has been picking litter in his spare time.
Byline: Sonya Duncan

Hayden Everett from Dereham has been picking litter in his spare time. Byline: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Mrs Everett told him to avoid certain types of rubbish, like needles, to stick to the pavements, and not to go too far. 

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“He came back with half a bagful and was absolutely buzzing with it. He was saying “Look how much I’ve got!” 

A picture of young Hayden hard at work litter-picking was last week posted on the Dereham Community Noticeboard Facebook group, to the joy of more than 450 people who ‘liked’ the post.  

Hayden Everett from Dereham has been picking litter in his spare time. Pictured with mum Gemma.
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Hayden Everett from Dereham has been picking litter in his spare time. Pictured with mum Gemma. Byline: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

“Our friends inboxed me and said ‘Is this Hayds?’” said Mrs Everett.

“I read all the comments and it was really overwhelming.”

Mrs Everett said her son was a little bemused as to why his litter picking had attracted so much praise.

“He said, ‘Why do they want to take pictures of me?’ and I said, ‘Because what you’re doing is a great job.’”

Hayden Everett from Dereham has been picking litter in his spare time.
Byline: Sonya Duncan

Hayden Everett from Dereham has been picking litter in his spare time. Byline: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Not only does Hayden have his own litter-picker, but also an attachable ring to hold his bin bag, so he doesn’t have to touch any of the litter.

“He’s fully equipped,” said Mrs Everett. 

She added: “He’s always said to his uncle, ‘Can I come, in the summer holidays, and do it with you?’ and he’s like, ‘No, Hayden, because it's my job, darling, you can’t come around town with me.’ 

“When this all came about, he was like, ‘Oh my god - I can do it, I can go and do it…’ He loves it.” 

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