A GROUP of veterans who are working to clear a Trevethin churchyard are calling on the public to do their part and not dump rubbish.
Members of the Veterans’ Association Pontypool branch have been working hard to clear St Cadoc’s Churchyard for over eight months.
But they were disheartened to see that dead flowers had been dumped by people who had cleared their relative’s graves.
Stephen Vaughan, 58, explained that he and three other veterans meet voluntarily twice a week to clear the graveyard.
He said: “We had complaints about the dumped dead flowers last year and in October a skip was hired and we cleaned it up.
“We are working hard to make the graveyard look tidy for the community and this undoes some of our hard work.”
Reverend Brian Pippen confirmed that it is the church’s responsibility to clean up the churchyard.
But the situation has got worse as due to the warmer weather and Easter, people replaced the flowers at the same time so the bin provided became full.
Instead of people taking the dead flowers home to bin, they started placing them in piles.
He added: “We are working to clean it up, and are bagging up the rubbish.
“But as we have no funding to look after the churchyard we rely on volunteers.”
The skip last year was paid for by a Keep Wales Tidy grant, so sponsorship or a donation of skip hire is sought so that the mess can be cleaned quickly.
The veteran group are still looking for volunteers to help them to continue to clear the graveyard.
The group meet twice a week, on a Tuesday and Thursday, between 10am and 2pm.
People with experience are sought to help with the main cleaning around the gravestones, and to bring their own gardening tools, such as strimmers, to help maintain the areas that the group have cleared.
Those without experience could help to bag up the mess to the sides of the graveyard.