'Trash Girl' Nadia Sparkes cartoon superhero created

Image source, Creative Nation
Image caption,
Schoolgirl Nadia Sparkes is depicted as a superhero in a cartoon created in her honour

A student branded "Trash Girl" by bullies for clearing litter from the streets has been turned into a cartoon superhero by artists.

Nadia Sparkes, 12, from Norwich, was mocked after she began litter-picking on her journey to and from school.

After she refused to stop, saying the name made her feel like a "superhero", Creative Nation artists drew a cartoon of her, saying "Trash Girl rules".

They want to see the cartoon displayed in schools to encourage other children.

The Hellesdon schoolgirl was so "shocked" by litter strewn near her home and school she began picking it up in her bicycle basket, leading to jibes and the seemingly cruel nickname.

But "Trash Girl" embraced her new identity and started a Facebook group called Team Trash Girl to encourage everyone to "pick up three pieces of litter today".

Image source, Paula Sparkes
Image caption,
Nadia Sparkes said the "Trash Girl" nickname made her feel "like a superhero"

Hundreds have joined and heaped praise on Nadia for "sticking to her guns".

Among the pictures of litter others have collected, staff at Suffolk-based company Creative Nation added a cartoon, saying "you are indeed a superhero".

The cartoon depicts Nadia wearing her cycle helmet and standing with her bicycle in front of a massive pile of rubbish.

Media caption,
'Trash girl' ignores bullies to clean Norwich's streets

"It would be great if this became a proper cartoon, or a comic and was rolled out in schools to inspire pupils not to drop litter and instead pick it up," Creative Nation's Alex Jeffery said.

"We think she is a superhero for putting the planet first in the face of the bullies who chose to criticise, rather than help her and get involved.

"We also wanted to see if our image could inspire a nationwide cartoon, sent to schools to inspire more young people to do the same fantastic work."

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said it would be up to individual schools to decide whether to use the cartoon in lessons.

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