A MAN inspired by an elderly woman's commitment to the community of Witney has launched a litter pick in her memory.

Mark Barney, of Burwell, was always pleased to see the mystery woman working her way through the centre of town collecting rubbish that people had simply tossed on the floor.

But when the 29-year-old returned home after being admitted to hospital for a month and two weeks last year, he found she was nowhere to be seen.

He eventually found out that she had passed away - and immediately set to work starting something that would keep her memory alive.

Mr Barney said: " I used to see her every time I went into town.

"Then I was in hospital for two weeks towards the end of last year and when I came out I thought: ‘Hang on a minute – where has she gone?’

I discovered she had passed away and I just thought we have to do something to keep her memory alive.

"I thought, why not do a litter pick, and that’s where the whole thing started."

Mr Barney was helped by former mayor of Witney Chris Woodward in launching the new litter pick, which has now had about four outings.

He continued: "The first one we did we collected 10 and a half bags of rubbish.

"It was really surprising how much there was. You don’t realise how much litter is about until you start grabbing it."

Now Mr Barney wants more people to support the cause, giving whatever time they can to help out.

Search for Witney Community Litter Picking on Facebook, where updates are provided about when the next litter pick will be coming up.

Alternatively, contact Mr Barney directly on 07851 796156.

He said: "We know people are busy so it’s just about as much time as people can spare. The more people we get, the easier it will become.

"Come if you can and stay for as long as you like.

"We don’t mind – as long as you get some rubbish."