We recently worked with young people from Barking and Dagenham as part of the National Citizen Service, a government funded scheme which brings young people together from different ethnicities and income backgrounds to teach them what it means to be responsible and contribute to their communities. During their Real Challenge day we wanted to tackle a meaningful issue that had been brought to our attention by community members.
The amount of dog poo on the pavements that is left by some dog owners is a real concern for everyone in the neighbourhood – providing health risks for children, a pain for prams, wheelchairs and a general ugliness on the streets making the area feel unloved.
In addition to the ‘No such things as a dog poo fairy’ stickers that we’ve distributed to residents on their walking routes we’re also experimenting with other behaviour change ideas. With the help of the young people in Mayesbrook Park we launched the Championship Dog Owner campaign. How does it work? We take high quality photographs of resident’s dogs which we print and deliver to their home along with a certificate which states the code of responsible dog ownership they commit too:
- To clean up after your dog or any dog you’re walking
- To respect the public, keeping dogs on leads or under control around people
- To encourage other dog owners to do the same
Hopefully this will act as an enabler and encourage dog owners to behave responsibly with their dog’s mess and encourage others to do the same. We will be experimenting with other ideas too such as giving free dog mess bags to shop owners. What do you think would help to solve the problem?