The Telegraph & Argus has thrown its weight behind a campaign to clean up Bradford, ahead of the city officially gaining its City of Culture status in 2025.

To mark the start of this new strand shining a light on neighbours making a difference, our reporters joined Bradford 4 Better on their biggest ever clean up since launching their ‘Don’t Mess with Bradford’ (DMWB) initiative.

A crowd of volunteers gathered in Centenary Square to be greeted by founders and long-standing members of Bradford’s fastest-growing community action group.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A large turn-out for the launch of the campaign in City Park

Also in attendance at the event was Keep Britain Tidy ambassador and naturalist extraordinaire Chris Packham, who’d travelled especially to show his support for the cause saying “the world is about to be spoilt by a lot of people doing nothing. You’re a lot of good people about to do something”.

Bradford 4 Better’s Secretary Kashif Ahmed led the motivational pre-clean speeches, celebrating their goal of transforming Bradford into a place that everyone can be proud to call home and showing that Bradford is not a place to be underestimated.

“We're turning this clean-up into an epic tale of community spirit and civic pride. Let's leave no stone unturned, no scrap uncollected, and make Bradford shine like never before. Remember, every effort counts, and together, we're rewriting the story of our city. Let's do this, Bradford!”

His words were supported by others from Tony Tokumbo Fernandez, Chairman Dr Sohail Abraham Ahmed and World Champion Boxer Tasif Khan, united by a mission to create “a cleaner, greener and safer Bradford for everyone”.

The significant crowd dispersed into smaller marshalled groups cleaning up key areas around the centre, from Sunbridge Road to Hall Ings to Chester Street. Litter pickers included former Miss Commonwealth Africa Esther N Osakwe, Khalil Ahmed and representatives from the HALE Network and the ever-colourful Bradford Belles troupe.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The campaign logo

Poet Bruce Barnes, who moved from London to Bradford in the mid 1990s, was in awe of the turnout telling Mr Ahmed “I’ve been trying to do what you’ve been doing for 30 years.”

Intensive clean up efforts were also undertaken by Bradford 4 Better in another postcode, focusing on the affected, residential BD5 area.

Led by Environmental Delivery Co-ordinator Holly Davy, Bradford Council also showed its support, providing the infrastructure needed in the form of wardens, vehicles, drivers and operatives.

Bowling Old Lane Cricket Club and surrounding streets were relieved of large items such as fridges, mattresses and sofas whilst the top of Birch Lane was given a full-on glow up, with extra help from The Guerrilla Gardeners of Sunny Bank Allotment.

Headed up by Dan Flack, the group of greenfingered superstars planted an array of plants and flowers to leave the place looking not only spotless, but blooming lovely.

An employee at the neighbouring convenience store, who has worked there for over a decade, came out especially to relay how much the community has been yearning for such a transformation.

“Thank you for doing this. You make something good... you can see the change”.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A new camoaign to tackle fly-tipping has started

Yet arguably the biggest transformation was had in the alleyway behind the temporarily closed West Bowling Post Office on Gaythorne Road, which saw the back of at least six months of littering and fly-tipping.

Families who hadn’t been able to safely leave their homes through this passage during this time couldn’t believe what they were seeing. ”I came out to complain about the noise... I’m so happy.

Thank you, Bradford 4 Better”.

In an earlier exclusive interview with the T&A, national treasure Chris Packham also laid in solidarity with the people of Bradford, when moulding himself into the shape of an eyebrow atop the sad face made of bin bags that he curated on the floor of Centenary Square. He hoped the art sent a strong, deterring message of disappointment to the tossers behind the distressing and hazardous messes.

Bradford 4 Better are thrilled with the growth of their volunteer network off the back of the clean up. “The response to the event has really galvanised our plans for more frequent future events as we expand the Don't Mess with Bradford campaign. Join us and let's reignite the pride in our city”.

You can keep up to date about future clean ups with Bradford 4 Better on their Instagram and Facebook Page at: