Tipton Litter Watch is an award winning community led environmental charity commissioned by Serco.
While the charity is small with only two paid employees, Tipton Litter Watch’s strong partnerships young people, with the public sector, local and national business organisations, the Sandwell community and individual schools enable its work to extend into all areas of the borough of Sandwell, covering the six towns of Tipton, Wednesbury, West Bromwich, Oldbury, Smethwick and Rowley Regis.
The charity’s highly commended environmental education programme ‘Think Before You Throw’ works in partnership with young people, local schools and education centres across Sandwell to teach the importance of sustainability.
‘Think Before You Throw’ is an active and engaging programme of environmental study for young people comprising of lesson plans, pupil worksheets, in-school and extended school activities, eco workshops, environmental competitions, litter picking sessions and an online learning website. All resources link to the National Curriculm, QCA schemes of work and the Every Child Matter Agenda. Furthermore, the programme is designed to engage entire schools – their pupils and teachers alike – in developing awareness and respect for the environment locally and the importance of sustainable living both at school and at home.
To support their programme, Tipton Litter Watch developed a school status scheme and three annual awards for teachers, pupils and parents which recognise achievements both in the classroom and the wider community.
‘Think Before You Throw’ has had meaningful community motivation, helping to highlight good environmental practice amongst young people in Sandwell. Adults immediately associate littering with young people and dubious morals. But what makes Tipton Litter Watch inspirational is the fact that it is not only making young people aware and involved in caring for their environment. But the charity is also helping to change public perception, by educating others to the fact that not all young people drop litter, furthermore, drawing attention that Sandwell’s young people are also being environmentally aware and are helping to clean up their communities. ‘Think Before You Throw’ gives young people the opportunity to want to make a difference – in the last five years alone the charity’s volunteers have litter picked with over 28,000 young people throughout the borough of Sandwell.
Tipton Litter Watch believes that educating young people about environmental responsibility at school leads to action at home, increasing household recycling and reducing litter on the streets, creating a more sustainable borough. Sandwell’s young people are proving “Little actions now can make big differences in the future”.