Pat Smith spent her 52 weeks of 2018 in 52 beaches as per her 2018 New Year resolution. Sounds fun, right? Picturing a young woman sunbathing throughout the year, a colourful cocktail in hand? Good. Now, allow me to clarify.

70 year old Pat Smith spent 52 weeks of 2018 cleaning the plastic off 52 beaches as per her 2018 New Year resolution.

70 year old Grandmother Pat Smith spent 52 weeks of 2018 cleaning up 52 British beaches

The English grandmother took it upon herself to spend 2018 cleaning up one end of the South West coast from Cornwall to Devon, including spending Christmas day cleaning up a beach on Trevone.
Armed with bin bags, rubber gloves and a litter picker and occasionally accompanied by her young grandchildren, this woman is making the extra effort to protect the next generation and provide them a healthy world to live in.

70 year old Grandmother Pat Smith spent 52 weeks of 2018 cleaning up 52 British beaches

Everything from bottles to wet wipes, plastic straws and tonnes of other waste and debris were picked up over the year. Throughout the year, she maintained an online journal showcasing not just her efforts but also insights, frustrations and musings about the state of each beach she cleaned up.

"I am beginning to feel that beach cleaning and litter picking, whilst helpful at the time, are only scratching the surface of a much greater problem which needs addressing by politicians," Smith wrote. "A closed loop system needs to be developed so that single-use plastics must be recyclable and have an end of life reuse programmed in so they never become waste. We all need to wake up to the fact that we only have one precious planet and that every one of us needs to take responsibility for looking after it."

70 year old Grandmother Pat Smith spent 52 weeks of 2018 cleaning up 52 British beaches

Amusingly, seeing the old woman picking up plastic in the beach, people would assume she was an ex-convict forced to do community service by the law! Pat sees the fun side of it though because she feels raising awareness matters more.

“People don’t understand I’ve been doing this voluntarily. We should all take responsibility for picking up the litter, as well as ensuring we don’t drop litter in the first place.”

Even though she should be basking in the success of completing her New Year resolution and cleaning 52 beaches, the 70 year old is not done yet and plans to continue her efforts in 2019.

“A lot of the rubbish I have picked up consists of everyday items. These things are used by all of us and it is shocking to find them polluting our beautiful beaches. Please let’s try to be more thoughtful in this coming year.”
- Pat Smith

70 year old Pat Smith is truly making the extra effort to provide the next generation a healthy world to live in.

Author's note:
This is part of my  #BlogchatterA2Z and #AtoZChallenge where I will be focusing on Real Life Heroes of Kindness and Compassion. 

Of course, I have been tracking these lovely human beings for years now and have found children as young as six years old and old women in their eighties from across the world who will restore your faith in humanity.

Want more stories of compassion to brighten up your day? Hundreds of 'Heroes of Kindness' can be found here:

Heroes of Kindness - 2017 edition
Heroes of Kindness - 2018 edition
Heroes of Kindness - 2019 edition
Heroes of Kindness - Indian edition


  1. Voluntarily doing so much for the environment is indeed commendable. A lot of us don't give a second thought while we litter places. She is such an inspiration.

  2. Oh wow! If she at this age can do it, why not us?!

  3. She is doing that at the age of 70 and that too voluntarily!! Simply amazing! More power to her and may her tribe increase!!


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