A 15-year-old boy with autism has been cleaning a town’s road signs and cutting back hedges to keep him “focused” during and after lockdown.
Joseph Beer, who also has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), has been cycling around Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, tidying things up.
Residents have raised almost £800 for him to buy new equipment.
Joseph said: “A lot of people have said ‘well done, thank you’ and told me how much of a difference it’s making.”
Joseph was forced to spend more time in his neighbourhood due to the coronavirus lockdown and began to notice road signs that were either dirty or blocked by trees and hedges.
He uses a trailer he made with his dad, Mark, to carry a pair of branch cutters and some cleaning equipment, and goes out on his bike most days.
Joseph said it was “amazing how overgrown and untidy” the town was before he started.
“It’s incredible how much of a difference it makes,” he said.
His mum, Lisa, said she was “incredibly proud” of what Joseph had done.
“It’s something that has been keeping him focused and given him plenty of challenges during lockdown,” Mrs Beer said.
“We are seeing significant changes around the community and we are having people approach us and thank us for his hard work and community spirit.”
Joseph has posted some of his before and after pictures on a Chatteris Facebook group and has received support from local residents.
A fundraising page for Joseph set up last week has raised £780 and he has also been offered new tools from a supplier.
Joseph said he would continue with the tidy up and “keep washing the signs I’ve missed”.