AFTER seven successful years which saw tonnes of rubbish cleared from Falmouth’s streets, foreshore and footpaths, the Waterfront Crew has been disbanded as one of its founders embarks on a new challenge.

Crew members were drawn from all year groups at Falmouth School after student mentor, Mel Bailey, and the then new PCSO Sean McDonnell joined forces to introduce the new initiative.

With Sean now about to start his training to become a police constable, the pair have decided to call it a day meaning the Waterfront Crew’s recent clean-up as part of Falmouth’s Spring Festival was its last.

Explaining the decision Mel said: “I would not and could not run it with anybody else and that is a huge tribute to Sean. It requires a commitment and a belief in young people which we share.”

Hundreds of students have been members of the Waterfront Crew since its inception seven years ago and gave up hours of their spare time to help make Falmouth a cleaner place to live.

“We identified young people who could take part and went |for a broad mix of students |with various needs,” said |Sean. “Some had suffered bereavement, some were truanting, others had bullying issues or were vulnerable.”

Mel added: “We were increasing their support network, encouraging them to be part of their local community and to understand it a little bit more and giving them positive role models. The community just embraced it straight away and bent over backwards to help us and to help the students.”

Among those who supported the initiative by offering rewards were WC Rowe, Harbour Lights, Falmouth Marine Band, the Cornwall Marine Network, Stithians Lake and Pendennis Shipyard.

“I hope we have left a warm legacy,” said Mel. “I can walk through the town now and crew members from years ago keep me up to date with their achievements. The time feels right to call an end to it. It achieved what we wanted it to achieve and that’s worth a quiet celebration.”

Sean added: “It is one of the things that I am most proud of as a PCSO because it was a fantastic example of exactly why PCSOs were brought in in the first place. It hit the nail on the head and has been held up as a flagship project that has been touted throughout the county and further afield.”