Blog | Tidy The Trash - North East Region Litter Pick

Blog | Tidy The Trash - North East Region Litter Pick

Blog written by Aaron Wappler, Assistant Regional Commissioner (Communications), North East Scotland Scouts

As Scouts, we always want to leave the world a bit better than we found it. That’s one of the principles our movement is founded on and something that we have carried throughout our history.

#TidyTheTrash – Region-wide litter picks

#NEScouts came together to take some time to make our communities look amazing and to do our bit for the environment and the planet by doing a region wide litter pick; encouraging groups and sections to take up their litter pickers and collect as much trash as possible around their local area.

Between May and June this year, as a region we managed to collect two hundred and fifty seven bags of trash with 25 groups taking part across the North East of Scotland. As a large region geographically, our digital presence was key to our success, using all our channels to make sure we spread the word of the project and of course giving our members support they needed to take part. 

We asked our members what they needed to take part and we then created a custom webpage with all the information they had asked for: from local authority contacts, step by step guides, recording forms and resources packed full of information to get the most of their time and most importantly ways to have fun while doing it!

Check out our #TidyTheTrash webpage:

Here are some ideas our members used!

Cleaned up the area around their Scout meeting places.

Walk the paths of their local towns and snatched litter.

Clear up the litter in their local park.

Hit the beach for a beach clean.

Explore the local woods or forest.

Cleaned up some local hills; like Bennachie.

How we tied it into the programme

While it’s not all about badges, it is important what we do as a group, district, region or country can be done easily at all levels of Scouts, from Beavers right the way through to Network. As part of our webpage, we included links to badgework and where it tied in specifically so members could work towards parts of different badges, if they hadn’t already earned them!

Beavers: Team Work Challenge / My World Challenge

Cubs: Environmental Conservation / Our World Challenge / Teamwork Challenge

Scouts: Environmental Conservation / World Challenge Award / Teamwork Challenge

Explorers: Chief Scouts Platinum / Diamond Awards

Tips for doing your own regional project

The best tip for doing a Community Impact Project whether at group, district or regional level, is work together! No matter where you are in Scotland, you can make a small difference by simply taking part in any regional project and helping out where you can, or better yet, making it part of your programme!

Here’s some more practical tips for those of you keen to make your own impact!

Identify the issue: The #AMillionHands project has some fantastic starter ideas or if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous why not get out into your local community and ask around? Speak to people and find out what issues are really affecting the people in your local area.

Plan Ahead: A good plan never goes a miss, be sure to know exactly what you want to achieve, how you are going to achieve it and who’s on board to help. You’ll also want to set some loose dates so you can coordinate as a team for certain parts of the project, e.g. the launch, the making a difference then celebrating your success and shouting about it. Plan as much as you can upfront so you can focus on just doing the challenge when the time comes!

Go Digital: Regardless of how big or small your group, district or region is, using the digital world to record and get the message out there is important to make things inclusive and accessible for everyone taking part. While the social action was mainly in-person focused, we used our digital media presence to get the information out there and offer support where needed to groups who faced barriers taking part.

Record, Record, Record: Did I mention you need to record it? Aye, be sure to find a good way to measure your success whether that’s per bag, per KG or any other metric which is easily understood by others. This is important so you can evaluate the direct impact of your project whatever the medium.

Shout about your success: The world needs to hear that Scouts are making a difference and most importantly, anyone can. Whether that’s through social media, your website or local newspaper, be sure to let the community know what you are getting up to and also let them know ways they can help out! (if applicable)

Running a region wide community impact project is uplifting, inspiring, makes a huge difference to our local communities and, not only that, but it’s also genuinely good for you.

As Scouts we want to make the world a better place and there is no better place to start than giving that extra helping hand to someone who needs it. It’s one of the most rewarding and worthwhile experiences in life and why we make such a difference to this world.