Hellesdon pupil nicknamed 'Trash Girl' by bullies becomes one of WWF's youngest-ever Earth Hour ambassadors
PUBLISHED: 21:41 13 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:46 14 March 2018
A Hellesdon High School pupil labelled "Trash Girl" by bullies has been made one of the WWF's youngest-ever Earth Hour ambassadors.
Twelve-year-old Nadia Sparkes was ridiculed for her efforts to protect the environment by clearing litter along her two-mile route to school.
But she refused to stop, and instead took ownership of her new nickname.
Her story has since won the hears of thousands of people across the world, and her Facebook page ‘Team Trash Girl’ now has more than 3,600 members.
Now Nadia’s efforts have been recognised by one of the world’s biggest wildlife charities, the WWF.
In an article on Nadia, the charity said: “Due to her amazing environmental work, we have now made Nadia an Earth Hour ambassador, and she will be supporting Earth Hour this year by asking people to join her in making a Promise For The Planet - whether it’s picking up litter, recycling or composting.”
Nadia, who lives in Hellesdon, near Norwich, is also part of Julia Bradbury’s Outdoor Guide team, which recently supported Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean.
The television presenter, who is also supporting WWF’s Earth Hour, said: “Nadia is an inspiration for all ages and has risen above and beyond the recent bullying challenges. I am proud to have her by my side to support the WWF passions that we both share.”
Earth Hour is held annually to encourage people, communities, and businesses to turn off non-essential electric lights.
This year it takes place on March 24 at 8.30pm.
Speaking about her new found fame, Nadia said: “It makes me feel really happy because not many people liked me before, but now I have a lot of people supporting me.”
She said she was “excited” to work with WWF.
In her new role as an ambassador, she will be asking people to pledge to pick up three pieces of litter a day - something she also asks people to do on her Facebook page.
Since September 2017 Nadia has used the basket of her bike to pick up plastic and bring it home for recycling - so far collecting more than two recycling bin’s-worth of plastic.
Following the publicity, she is no longer being bullied at school.