Good Neighbors

It's A Dirty Job, But Someone's Got To Do It! Teen Cleans Up Neglected Road Signs In His Town

The locals are calling him a hero for all of the hard work he's put in – but he's not doing it for the fame.

When you're out and about and notice something that's out of place or not in the best condition, do you ever think to yourself, "Someone should do something about this?"

A teenager in Cambridgeshire, England was tired of passing by the neglected street signs in his community that were damaged and covered in dirt, so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

Joseph started cleaning his town's neglected street signs during the coronavirus lockdown. James Linsell-Clark /

Joseph Beer noticed the signs every day when he was out for walks with his family. When he said he wanted to clean them up, his dad helped him to build a trailer for his bike to carry his supplies.

Then, he got to work scrubbing and cutting overgrown hedges that were keeping some of the road signs hidden from sight – which could lead to traffic accidents if left unattended and people aren't able to view them.

"He comes back absolutely filthy, and still carrying the bucket of water, which by the end of the day has turned black from all the cleaning he's done," Joseph's mother told the BBC.

Joseph has been sharing before and after photos of his work on his Facebook page. Joseph Beer/Facebook

Joseph, who lives with autism and ADHD, said the project gave him 'focus' and was something to do during the coronavirus lockdown. He's been sharing photos of his progress on a local Facebook group's page.

"It's incredible how much of a difference it makes," Joseph said.

The 15-year-old lives with autism and ADHD, and he says the project gives him a routine that he's been missing since his school closed in March. Joseph Beer/Facebook

Joseph is usually at a therapeutic boarding school, but since the school closed in March he was looking for a new routine. He found it with the sign-cleaning project, and he doesn't show any signs of stopping.

"Every day he wanted to find something new and challenging to take on," Joseph's mother said. "He had lots and lots of energy, and he wanted to put it to practical use."

Thanks to Joseph, the town's road signs are visible again. Joseph Beer/Facebook

Other members of the community have been praising Joseph for his efforts and one neighbor even started a GoFundMe page to reward him for his hard work. So far, the fundraiser has raised the equivalent of $1300.

"He deserves recognition for this selfless act and we, the community of Chatteris would like to thank him with a whip round as a token of our appreciation," the description on the GoFundMe page reads.

Joseph's dad made him a trailer for his bike for carrying his cleaning tools and supplies. Joseph Beer/Facebook

Joseph says he plans to use the money to buy some new tools to continue his project and will donate the rest to the local food bank.

We love stories of young people stepping up to make a difference in their communities. Joseph is a great example of someone helping others for no other reason than to make the world a better place. Job well done!

How can you start something good?

You can contribute to the town's GoFundMe for Joseph by clicking here.

Let's #StartSomethingGood together!

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