Baldock's touching tribute to retiring street cleaner Andy

Baldock street cleaner Andy Saunders holding a cheque for his retirement

Baldock street cleaner Andy Saunders has thanked everyone who contributed to his retirement gifts - Credit: Courtesy of Laura Hoy

A popular street cleaner who is retiring after 39 years has been given a heart-warming send-off by the community where he lives and works.

Andy Saunders, who was born and bred in Baldock, has taken pride over the decades in his job of cleaning the streets of the historic market town.

His efforts have not gone unnoticed, with people keen to show their appreciation by clubbing together to raise £2,750 as a retirement gift from the community, as well as showering him with thoughtful presents.

Laura Hoy, who set up an online fundraising page when she heard Andy is retiring, said: "This story is about Andy - the hard working man he is, and the loyalty and dedication he has shown to our town for more years than we care to remember!

"I have often heard people comment about how hard Andy works and what a great job he does and, usually, I just nod and agree. 

"This time, a comment from my parents, who had seen him cleaning up after the Baldock Fair all by himself, really stuck with me, and I thought he truly does deserve a gesture of thanks from the town he has cleaned up after for all these years.

"I found out Andy was retiring this November, so I set up a JustGiving page and shared it on all the Baldock social media pages. It soon became apparent how popular and liked Andy is, and how much the community appreciate and respect him. The page closed raising a total of £2750.98, which has been paid to Andy."

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Other gifts included a signed and framed Luton Town football shirt, a voucher for a meal in The Old White Horse pub in Baldock and a food hamper.

Laura said: "Baldock has come together as a community to give their thanks to Andy for all his hard work over the past 39 years, when he has, on so many occasions, gone above and beyond his job.

"We all wish him the best of luck in his very well-deserved retirement. He will be very sorely missed and is going to leave some very big boots to fill."

Andy said: "Thank you to everyone who contributed. I was so surprised to receive the amount I did, so I'm going to think about what I'm going to treat myself to with the money.

"It's amazing how wonderful people in the community can be."