WHILE many people began the new year sleeping off hangovers, a dedicated band of volunteers were up at the crack of dawn to help clean-up Bolton town centre.

Fourteen members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) Bolton collected and cleared detritus from the New Year’s Eve celebrations that that littered our streets.

It is the fifth year that volunteers have joined Bolton Council at 7am to remove bottles, cans and takeaway food and packaging that had been left on the streets.

Youth leader Ahmad Salman Arshad said: “Our members have enjoyed living in Bolton for decades and so any opportunity to help our local community is a much welcomed one.

“Cleaning the streets of Bolton also presents us with an opportunity to become better Muslims as cleanliness is an integral part of our faith. Giving up a couple of hours can make a huge difference.”

He added: “We are a peace loving and well organised association which will continue to help make this great part of England an even better place to live in.”

The clean-up brigade, which included member as young as nine and their parents, began in Nelson Square before moving on to Bradshawgate, Crompton Place, Newport Street and Victoria Square.

The big street clean is one of several community initiatives that the young members have been involved in during the past few weeks.

The group has also provided food for Bolton’s homeless, donated food to the Urban Outreach food bank and visited care homes to give the elderly gifts.

AMYA focuses on helping young Muslims become better citizens and fulfil their religious obligations of serving God and humanity.

For further information please visit www.muslimsfo