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Love South Tyneside

Proud to support

Thank you to all of our #Proud nominees and to everyone who has gone above and beyond, stepping out of their day-to-day role or doing what they do best so others can carry our essential work. Read their stories here.

#ProudToSupport

Volunteering

If you would like to volunteer, Love South Tyneside can support you to be matched to an organisation that can use your skills.

Email LoveST@southtyneside.gov.uk

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Love South Tyneside aims to introduce civic pride, raise awareness of things taking place in the Borough including volunteering, community events, drop -in sessions and promote the area.

Support Love South Tyneside by:

  • Talking the
    area up
  • Actively promote
    events in
    the Borough
  • Become a
    volunteer
  • Take part in
    a litter pick-up
  • Get active in
    the community
  • Report issues
    in the Borough
  • Recycle more
  • Plant more
    trees or flowers
  • Befriend a
    neighbour
  • Tell a friend
    about South Tyneside

This web site provides information and advice for starting an active volunteering group and promotes volunteering opportunities to South Tyneside residents.

Love South Tyneside

How Can I Get Involved In Love South Tyneside?

Volunteering is a great way to get involved in the Borough.

You don't need to have any special skills or knowledge to be a volunteer. All you need is enthusiasm for improving, promoting and being active in your local area. Volunteering has many rewarding benefits such as meeting new people, improved fitness levels, develop new skills, being part of a team and making South Tyneside a great place to live, invest and bring up families.

Get involved in South Tyneside and take part in one of our volunteering opportunities.

Street Champions

Street champions is a volunteer scheme that is part of our #LoveSouthTyneside campaign to encourage residents to take a more active role in their community.

Street Champion aims:

  • Increase volunteering opportunities to participate in cleaning and community events such as bulb and tree planting
  • Encourage public to play an active role in the local community
  • Generate community spirit and involvement
  • Build respect in local communities and improve the environment for everyone
  • Encourage communities to monitor the cleanliness and maintenance of local streets and open spaces

As a street champion you will provide a positive influence within your community, improving the local environment by informing the Council of areas of concern. You will be provided with a Toolkit on how to report typical issues in your street/area and an equipment request form. From this you will be able to order certain items to make a difference in your area. These things will include litter picking equipment.

Typical issues Street champions can report:

  • Graffiti
  • Fly-tipping
  • Fly-posting
  • Excessive litter
  • Dog fouling
  • Street light problems
  • Overhanging trees and shrubs
  • Pot holes and missing drain covers
  • Damage to street furniture including seats, bins, signs, bollards, bus shelters

If something is of concern, then let us know and we may be able to deal with it. If, for any reason, we can't then we will explain why, as well as try to put you in touch with the right person to talk to.

Why become a street champion?

By becoming a Street Champion you can put something back into the community and help improve the environment you live in. It's simple and easy, all you have to do is tell us about your concerns ranging from damaged street lights to graffiti and we will do the rest.

How will #LoveSouthTyneside keep in touch with me?

You will receive two newsletters a year which will keep you updated about the scheme and also provide information about topics of interest and events.

You can sign up by sending us an email to: LoveST@southtyneside.gov.uk

Volunteering in South Tyneside

Volunteering is about doing something to benefits others, not for financial gain.

Volunteering can take many different forms such as:

  • helping with activities in children centres
  • helping train people to use computers
  • supporting youth clubs
  • helping to run events
  • befriending others

Volunteering has many benefits, such as:

  • gaining new experience
  • enhancing your skills
  • adding something new to your CV
  • building confidence
  • making new friends
  • feeling good about helping others

Who Can be a Volunteer?

Anyone who has spare time can volunteer. We already have volunteers of many different backgrounds, abilities and ages.

There is no upper age barrier, but volunteers must be over 14 years-old. For some roles you will need to be over 18 years-old. You can volunteer for as much or as little time as suits you. Sometimes it depends on the role you are doing, but mostly it depends on how much time you can give. It can be days, evenings, weekends or a mixture.

Most volunteer roles don't require qualifications but some may need certain skills – details will be included in the role description. Training will be provided, if needed.

You can volunteer whether you are working or claiming benefits. If you are claiming benefits you must tell your benefits adviser. If you are claiming Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA) you must still actively seek work and be available to start any opportunity. Volunteering shouldn't affect your benefits as long as the only money you receive is reimbursement of expenses.

Criminal convictions must be declared in your application form. You will need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check if your volunteer role involves access to young people or vulnerable adults – this will tell us if you have a criminal record. Having a record should not stop you from volunteering but it may limit what you can do.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer opportunities are available at Inspire. The volunteer manager for your role will then contact you to arrange an informal chat, either in person or by phone.

We do not seek to replace paid staff with volunteers.

A Joint Commitment

When you volunteer with us we make a commitment to you, and expect a commitment in return.

Our Commitment to You

Our commitment to volunteers is to:

  • make sure that volunteering is rewarding for all involved
  • recognise the importance of high standards and effective management of volunteers
  • agree the role description with the volunteer
  • be flexible in relation to personal circumstances
  • support volunteers if they wish to say 'no' to additional tasks or responsibilities, or if they wish to leave
  • offer volunteers opportunities for personal development within the volunteer role or to assist in exploring new opportunities
  • provide volunteers with support and guidance through a volunteer manager
  • provide volunteers with an open, accessible and fair process for raising any concerns and issues
  • pay out of pocket approved expenses in relation to the volunteer role, as agreed by your volunteer manager
  • provide public liability insurance
  • inform volunteers about health and safety matters and make efforts to ensure that they have a safe volunteering environment
  • implement our equal opportunities policy, which provides the basis by which we develop best practices for the benefit of current and future staff as required by law

What we expect from you

We expect our volunteers to:

  • perform the volunteering role to the best of their ability
  • attend information, relevant workshops and support sessions as appropriate to the volunteering role
  • volunteer within the Council's priorities, aims and objectives, and follow our standards for equal opportunities, health and safety, data protection, confidentiality, and any others applicable to the role
  • assist other volunteers and staff as part of a team
  • let the volunteer manager know as early as possible if they are unable to carry out their volunteering duties
  • refer concerns or issues to the volunteer manager or other Council staff, as appropriate
  • seek guidance if they feel that there may be a conflict of interest between their volunteering role and other commitments
  • not bring the Council's name into disrepute and follow the volunteers agreement
  • treat information about service users, staff or other volunteers in a confidential way
  • act at all times in the best interests of the Council
  • promote diversity and respect for the diverse community we serve
  • make sure equality is at the heart of any volunteer activity conducted on behalf of the Council

Start a Litter Pick

If you’d like to organise a litter-pick up, we can provide you with all the information you will need.

We are urging residents, businesses, schools and local communities to get involved by becoming litter aware and taking pride in the area they love. Starting a litter pick up can make all the difference in South Tyneside. It will make South Tyneside a nicer place to live, work and visit.

If you’d like to organise a one-off litter pick, South Tyneside Council will provide you with everything that you need to make it a success. They can provide you with the right equipment, and collect your rubbish bags once you’ve finished.

Register your interest here and a member of the team will get back in touch with you.

Don’t forget that you will need permission to litter pick on private or public land. If you are unsure as to litter pick an area or not, please contact South Tyneside Council before proceeding with the litter pick at LoveST@southtyneside.gov.uk. You can report high areas of high litter to the Council at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/reportit and the Council will remove the items/debris.

Planning your litter pick

Firstly decide on what you want to achieve with a litter pick. Do you want to clean up a local landmark or tackle a ‘grot spot’? It is a good idea to identify some goals that the litter pick aims to achieve.

Always get permission from the landowner for your clean up activity. The landowner could be the council or perhaps a farmer or local estate owner.

Our friends at Keep Britain Tidy have put together some guidance on clean-up preparation. Please have a read before undertaking any activity.

Some points to consider

  • How will you carry out your clean up, will it be a straight forward litter pick or a larger event tackling other issues besides litter?
  • Should refreshments or lunch be provided?
  • Is there a suitable rally point for the day, familiar to everyone, from where you can start and finish the event?
  • How will you get rid of the waste at the end of the event?
  • South Tyneside Council may be able to help with the disposal arrangements (please see above), or alternatively the waste can be taken to Middlefields.

Risk assessment and safety

It’s important to organise a safe litter pick.

Having chosen your site or sites where you want to carry out your clean up, you should visit the areas to carry out a risk assessment. This is careful examination of the possible harms and dangers that your volunteers might encounter when carrying out the clean up, for example;

  • Unlabelled and unmarked cans and canisters, oil drums, poisons, insecticides, broken glass, syringes, condoms etc.
  • Slips, trips and falls, especially around water, steep banks, muddy holes.
  • Roads, with heavy traffic, or waterways with deep or fast flowing water.

If an area carries too many risks for you and your team leave the clearing of the site to the Council and choose another location. A risk assessment form and guidance notes are available from the Council to help you successfully plan your event.

Keep Britain Tidy have a useful risk assessment template that you can use template risk assessment form.

Promotion

When drumming up support and volunteers for your clean up you may want to look to other organisations who would be interested in making an impact on the local environment, such as schools, scouts, environmental groups or churches. It is a good idea to try and involve as much of the local community as possible, and this can be done by:

  • social media
  • Email
  • Poster

Once your day is set for the litter pick we can help promote your litter pick. Simply visit www.lovesouthtyneside.co.uk and complete the event form. We may even pop along on the day to film the event!

Equipment

The equipment required for the litter pick can depend on the nature, size and type of your event and the resources available to you.

Generally, the following items will be necessary;

  • Clean up equipment; such as refuse sacks, litter pickers, gloves, wheelbarrows, rakes and shovels.
  • Safe containers; ensure you have a suitable container for broken glass or sharp materials which could rip plastic bags.
  • First Aid; ensure you have a trained first-aider on site with the appropriate equipment. Let your volunteers know who the first-aider is and where they can be found during the event. For larger events you may consider asking organisations such as St John Ambulance to provide assistance.
  • If you are likely to come across hypodermic needles or drug related litter, please leave these items where they are and call our Contact Centre phone number (0191 427 7000) and ask for them to be collected. Please give a full and clear description of where they are located to ensure that collection can completed efficiently and effectively.
  • Rubbish removal; have available a skip or other means of removal for the rubbish you have collected.
  • Means of communication; make sure you can stay in contact with your volunteers
  • Protective clothing and equipment; your risk assessment will help you decide what safety equipment you need such as heavy duty gloves and high visibility clothing.

The Council may be able to provide some of this equipment.

Keep It Safe

  • Make sure everyone is aware of the potential dangers, such as items they should not be picking up, as identified in your risk assessment.
  • If you are involving local children, make sure there is a sufficient number of adults to supervise.
  • Before the litter pick make sure the children understand which items are potentially dangerous and should not be picked up. Be aware that some children may not heed your warnings and therefore must be closely supervised, don’t let children attempt to pick up heavy or bulky items.
  • With children try to do no more than an hour litter pick, if only adults are involved, attempt only what is in everyone’s capacity and allow for rest.

Be Considerate

If you are working on parks, in the country, in open spaces or in woodland, avoid disturbing animals and plants, particularly during nesting season.

Keep gates closed and avoid clearing natural ‘rubbish’ like stones, logs and weeds, they may look untidy but they may be home to animals and birds.

Before the litter pick you may wish to seek advice from the South Tyneside Council Countryside Officer at 0191 424 7423 or email clare.rawcliffe@southtynesidegov.uk.

Insurance Cover

Obtaining public liability insurance is very important and not very expensive.

This will provide cover for your legal liability arising from accidental damage or injury that occurs during the event, including damage or injury to a member of the public or their property.

If you represent an organisation or school it is possible that you already have insurance in place, but it is important to check that clean ups are covered under such insurance.

Regular Litter Picks

If you regularly organise litter picks, or would like to champion the cause in your local area, let us know as we would love to promote your area and the work that you do.

South Tyneside Council will provide you with all the equipment you need and we’ll support your efforts by collecting your filled rubbish bags and promoting your organised events on social media.

Simply email LoveST@southtyneside.gov.uk and we’ll get back in touch.

Make a Difference

The little things really do make a big difference!

We would love to see your before and after pictures. Share them on social media using #LoveSouthTyneside or tag @LoveSTyneside on twitter.

Commmunity Gardens

Building communities

Community gardens can develop and build stronger communities. Learning about growing food is great fun and can pull different kinds of people of all ages, including children, together. Community gardeners can learn new skills, from how to make a raised bed to the techniques of permaculture.

Local residents can use a community garden to grow their own traditional food, which can’t easily be found in the big supermarkets. It also provides other participants with an opportunity to grow and try new produce that is not familiar to them.

Also, when communities work closely together to convert a derelict area of land into a beautiful, public open space, it has the potential to reduce neighbourhood crime and antisocial behaviour.

Helping the Environment

Community gardens encourage sustainable land management and improve the quality of the local environment, often by turning disused and even derelict sites into havens for food production and wildlife. Community gardens provide safe, recreational green spaces in urban areas and can help improve local air quality.

Derelict/disused Land

Many people may know of a neglected plot of land that could serve a practical use.

Gardens on Housing Land

There are many underused plots of land that belong to housing organisations. South Tyneside Homes have identified several plots of housing land, such as underused grassed areas, where residents can plan on growing plants or their own food.

Private Land

There may also be underused private land that could be a good plot for growing food. So, if you know of a piece of derelict, run-down or underused land in the Borough, and think it would benefit from a transformation into a pleasant, public open space, then you should consider starting your own community garden. Here’s how.

Choose Your Site

A plot of land may have already caught your eye in your local neighbourhood or you might want to have a wander round your area to see if there are any potential sites.

Things to Consider When Selecting Your Site

Location

Ensure it is within walking distance or a short journey from potential participants in the project. Check on the aspect of the plot – if you want your plants to grow well, you will need to be sure the site gets plenty of sun. Ideally, you will want to be located close to a water source.

The site should be reasonably flat and not contain very large pieces of concrete, as large amounts of rubble or debris can be difficult to shift and there could be a cost to have it cleared by machinery. Alternatively, if the area is paved, you can consider other ways to grow food such as the ‘vacant lot’ idea where you can use large builders’ bags to grow vegetables, or plants.

Soil

Before making plans, check the soil is suitable for growing flowers/vegetables and whether there has been any contamination. You can contact the Council to see if the land is on the Council’s register of contaminated land. If it is not, then you will still need to get the soil tested, or find alternative means of growing food such as in raised beds (guidance applies as to how these should be constructed) or in large builders’ bags.

Who Owns The Land?

Find out who owns the land, set up a lease agreement and check on insurance.

It is illegal to use land without obtaining the owner’s permission, so take the information you have about the location of the sites and as a first point of call, contact South Tyneside Council planning team. Id the land is not Council owned, you may then have to do your search via the Land Registry. Be sure to mention to the landowner the value of the garden to the community and the fact that your gardening group will be responsible for keeping the site clean and weed-free.

Prepare and negotiate a lease agreement and terms for use for the site. You should attempt to negotiate a lease agreement for at least three years. To operate a community garden, you should have public liability insurance cover to indemnify you against being held responsible for the injury, disability or death of people visiting or taking part in your activities.

Cover should be obtained for a minimum of £2million, however most groups are now insured for £5million.

You are legally responsible from the day you take over a site. It is strongly recommended that in order to protect your group from any mishaps on site, you take out public liability insurance before any site work is undertaken, even if it’s only temporary clearance work prior to signing an agreement.

Related Resources

If the land is Council-owned, you may be covered under the Council’s public liability insurance contact planning@southtyneside.gov.uk.

Land Registry can be contacted to identify who owns the land you may be interested in. Visit www.landregistry.gov.uk. There is a fee for this service.

Committees

Get your committee together and start making plans!

It is important when setting up a community garden that there is plenty of support for the project from the group, led by a well organised garden co-ordinator. It’s a good idea to start off with a small steering group to exchange ideas and if there is sufficient interest, you may then need to establish a more formal management committee to properly co-ordinate duties such as planning events and activities, applying for funding and carrying out legal responsibilities.

Things Your Committee Will Need To Consider

Determine if there really is a need and desire for a garden and, if so, what kind of garden would be most suitable – one that grows vegetables, flowers, trees, or a combination? Please note that in order to take part in the Capital Growth project and its benefits including support, your garden will need to grow food.

Who will the garden serve – young people, older people, families or those who just want an opportunity to improve their local environment?

What type of role will the garden play – food production, community building, environmental restoration, beautification or recreation? Who are the potential supporters of the garden – businesses, neighbours, local community groups, schools?

How will you go about recruiting members and keeping records of membership? This is particularly important if you are applying for funding.

Prepare and Develop the Site

The following is an outline of the main tasks in setting up the actual site.

Planning the Garden

Community members should be involved in the planning, design, and set-up of the garden. You should measure your site and make a simple site map, drawn to scale. Hold two or three garden design meetings at times when interested participants can attend.

Recruiting Volunteers

Volunteers are a valuable resource and can assist in the development of a community garden in a number of ways, ranging from digging and planting, to leafleting, to carrying out committee duties. Volunteers come with a range of skills and expectations which need to be managed to benefit both parties.

Clean the Site

Schedule community workdays to clean up the site. How many work days you need will depend on the size of the site, and how much and what kind of debris is on site. You will then need to organise volunteer work crews and plan your work day. Please remember to dispose of any waste legally.

If your garden is large, include plans for a storage area for tools and other equipment, as well as a compost area. Finally, a rainproof bulletin board is handy for announcing garden events and messages.

Organise the Garden

You may need to consider conditions for membership such as fees and agreement with rules. If there is to be a membership fee, consider how much you should charge for membership, as these fees could help to cover some of the costs of running the garden. What will active members receive in return for their membership? You will also need to organise how often gardeners will meet, what tasks they will be responsible for and how tools will be distributed.

How will regular maintenance, in particular weeding, be handled both inside plots and in common areas such as along fences, in raised vegetable beds and in seating areas?

For large groups it is advisable to have a set of written rules so that users know what is expected of them and what standards they should adhere to.

If you are considering dividing your land into plots, think about how they will be assigned, i.e. by family size, by residential areas, by need, by age groups etc.

How large should each plot be and how will they be laid out?

Different users will have different requirements and your planning should incorporate this.

Raising Money

Most community gardens are ideal locations for hosting a variety of social events such as barbeques, harvest suppers, picnics and games, discos and community celebrations.

These can be valuable publicity opportunities, and by charging an entrance fee, or by adding some other fundraising element to the event, you can generate income for your garden. You may also eventually be able to sell surplus plants, cuttings and produce from the garden, like jams, honey and crops as well as home-made bird feeders or window boxes.

Securing Funding

As a constituted group you will be able to apply for funding via charitable organisations. There is always competition for this kind of funding. If you expect others to fund your activities and help develop your garden, then it is important that you offer good value for money and can prove that your group is well managed.

Think through a range of potential fundraising channels and critically consider which are likely to be successful for your group, and only apply for funds that are included in your group’s overall development plan. It is also advisable to seek to develop a relationship with existing and potential funders. You can also apply for a CAF grant.

Health and Safety

When operating a community garden, the health and safety of all users is paramount.

Common hazards in community gardens are as follows:

  • poisonous plants
  • pathways and walkways
  • use of wheelbarrows
  • use of garden tools
  • use of power and electrical tools
  • compost heaps
  • dogs

To ensure the safety of the users of the garden you are advised to:

  • have a health and safety policy
  • carry out regular inspections of the site and its facilities, and act on any problems that may arise
  • provide good health and safety information, training and supervision provide preventative advice and appropriate first aid
  • provide appropriate amenities, such as clean washing and toilet facilities
  • investigate and record information on any accidents
  • have procedures for the safe use, handling, storage and transportation of articles and substances.

How to Manage Your Garden

A high quality, sustainable community garden programme entails much more than just planting seeds and watering at the right time of year. Good management and organisational techniques are essential.

Clear Guidelines

Having written rules is very important when establishing a new garden, as they spell out exactly what is expected of a gardener and make it much easier to deal with challenges as they arise. Some suggested issues that you might like to highlight in your rules and guidelines could be as follows:

  • a set fee to help cover garden expenses
  • information on what vegetables need to be planted when, and
  • keeping a weekly/monthly maintenance calendar if a member is unable to commit to the planned work schedule, notification must be given in good time
  • a commitment from each member to keep weeds to a minimum, regularly water and maintain the areas they are responsible for
  • a commitment to clear any rubbish on site responsibly a code of conduct outlining expected behaviour and respect for neighbouring residents and tenants on and around the site

Jobs To Do

Looking after a community garden is a large undertaking and there will be many jobs that need to be done.

General Maintenance and Upkeep

A few general chores might be as follows:

  • collection of any litter/debris
  • sweeping or raking up stray leaves on walkways and paths
  • trimming or mowing any areas of turf
  • keeping walkway edges clean
  • raking gravel paths
  • upkeep of fences, sheds, etc.
  • through the occasional coat of fresh paint
  • clearing moss from stone or brick walkways, which could become slippery harvesting and storing vegetables.

Fertilizing

If you are starting a new garden, particularly in an urban area, you may find that your garden has only a small layer of rich topsoil, if any at all, and the soil underneath may be unsuitable for cultivating vegetables.

In addition to this, continuously growing vegetables in the same soil will eventually deplete its nutrients. As a result, you may have to consider adding some fertilizer to maintain the health of your soils and keep your vegetables at their best.

Vandalism

Vandalism is a common fear among community gardeners. However, the fear tends to be much greater than the actual incidence. Try these proven methods to deter vandalism:

  • Make a sign for the garden.
  • Let people know to whom the garden belongs and that it is a neighbourhood project. Fences can be made of almost any material. They serve as much to mark possession of a property as to prevent entry.
  • Create a shady meeting area in the garden and spend time there. Invite everyone in the neighborhood to participate from the very beginning. Persons excluded from the garden are potential vandals.
  • Involve the neighbourhood children in ‘learning gardens’. They can be the garden’s best protectors. Plant raspberries, climbing roses or other thorny plants along the fence as a barrier to fence climbers.
  • Make friends with neighbours whose windows overlook the garden. Trade them flowers and vegetables for a protective eye.

Upcoming Events

Businesses

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, get active in the community, build confidence, learn a new skill, build up a CV or simply help South Tyneside be a better place to live, work and invest.

There are many ways to volunteer; whether you have an hour or a week, volunteering really connects people.

We already have lots of active volunteers that give their time to make a difference within South Tyneside.

Businesses can promote their volunteering opportunities by sending an email to enquiries@inspiresouthtyneside.co.uk

If you want to volunteer for a specific organisation you can contact them directly. However for more general enquiries email enquiries@inspiresouthtyneside.co.uk

Download our Business Toolkit

Our PDF factsheet contains everything you need to know about how to engage and recruit volunteers for your organisation.

Image of Business Toolkit PDF

Corporate Volunteers

Corporate volunteering (also called employee volunteering) is a really simple and effective way for businesses to contribute to the community.

Companies give their employees an allowance of paid time off annually, which they use to volunteer at a charity of their choice. This enables staff to make a difference in as little as an afternoon, and has incredible potential for community impact.

Although employee volunteering is, for now, voluntary, more and more businesses are introducing it, and are recognising the hugely beneficial effects on the employee, the business and the community. Employee volunteering is fast becoming the norm, and a strong EV programme is crucial when it comes to staying ahead of your competitors.

Businesses large and small are running amazing projects.

Sounds great – how do I get involved?

The first thing to do is to create a good employee volunteering policy, and then think about how to organise it so that staff will actually get out of the office and volunteer.

Armed Forces Covenant

The Armed Forces Community Covenant is a voluntary statement of mutual support between a civilian community and its local armed forces community. It commits the Borough to key principles, which are that service personnel, veterans and their families should:

  • not be at a disadvantage when they try to access public services such as education, employment, housing, or health care
  • be given special consideration where appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most, such as the injured and the bereaved

Find out more information and sign the covenant.

Case Study: Harlow Printing Wildlife Garden

Harlow Printing has been certified to ISO14001 Environmental Standards since 1998. For more than 20 years, we have done everything possible to achieve minimal impact and sustainability throughout our supply chain.

In 2008 we purchased a new, 35,000 square foot factory in South Shields, providing Warehousing & Distribution facilities and giving our customers the option of a full print managed service. The factory was built on two acres of land, nicely lawned, well maintained and pleasing to the eye but totally ineffective in relation to providing a habitat for flora, fauna and wildlife in decline: our vision was to create one.

With an amount of £10,000 agreed and funded by Harlow Printing, we approached Groundwork in early 2009 to help with the design, development and the technical aspects of creating a wildlife garden based on biodiversity criteria.

In addition, we put together an environmental committee, made up of employees, as part of our plan to look at our manufacturing processes which were creating a major environmental impact as well as the little things we do every day which contribute to climate change. The team were invited to work with Groundwork in the design of the wildlife garden and following several meetings, the final plan was agreed in February 2009.

Although we had committed £10,000 to the project, we believed that to be really successful we needed to double the funding. In a period of global recession, doubling the amount from our own resources would have been a big ask, so, with the assistance of Groundwork, we applied for a grant from County Durham Environmental Trust (CDENT). Following a presentation and several meetings, we were able to persuade CDENT that our project was beneficial to both the environment and the local community and, as a result, they agreed to match our funding, giving us a total of £20,000.

From the beginning, we wanted to encourage local schools and other businesses committed to environmental improvement to get involved. With this in mind we contacted Blueventure, the South Tyneside Business & Education Partnership, who liaised with schools on our behalf, and involved them in our planting programme. ITC, a local IT company, already partnering with schools, provided saplings for inclusion in our hedgerow. The planting of the larger tress were left with Groundwork.

The garden is now well established, with meadow like grass, a pond, a bridge, rustic seats, beehives and log piles, which provide a natural habitat for hedgehogs and bugs over winter.

We realise our wildlife garden won’t save the world and won’t really have a significant impact on global warming, but, if every organisation created an area in their factories dedicated to supporting indigenous flora and fauna, the cumulative impact would be beneficial to us all.

Love South Tyneside

Submit Your Event

Get something planned, then just let us know! We can promote your event on this web page, South Tyneside Council's What's On Guide, Love South Tyneside Facebook and Twitter.

If your organisation or event needs volunteers or you are promoting a community drop-in session, please complete the form below.

If there are any problems with your form we will be in touch.

Submit Your Event
Love South Tyneside

Nominate A Person

We are delighted that you know someone who goes above and beyond in the South Tyneside community.

Nominations to #LoveSouthTyneside are on hold at this time.

However, we would ask you to visit our current #Proud to Support campaign and make your nomination there, so we can say thank you to the person you tell us about.

#ProudToSupport campaign
Love South Tyneside

Support and Advice

South Tyneside Homes and South Tyneside Council can provide a range of support and training to any group who want to organise a litter pick-up, but please read the following information.

Know The Risks

Those undertaking voluntary litter picks do so at their own risk and they are not working for or on behalf of South Tyneside Homes or South Tyneside Council and therefore neither of the organisations mentioned above will be held responsible for any Loss, damage, injury or inconvenience caused due to the acts or omissions of those volunteering. South Tyneside Homes will support such events as much as they possibly can however the safety of those taking part must be considered by the organiser of the event.

Ensure People Are Suitably Dressed

Those carrying out such voluntary litter picks should make sure they have the appropriate Protective Clothing and Equipment:

  • Suitable footwear which will protect their feet including sturdy rigid soles (no open toed footwear)
  • Sturdy Gloves that will give protection.
  • Hi-Visibility coat or vest which can be seen by members of the public including drivers of vehicles.
  • A set of Litter Pickers.
  • Suitable clothing for undertaking the task

How To Deal With Dangerous Materials

Whilst undertaking a litter pick there is the possibility of coming across a host of items which could cause harm, these include, but not limited to:

  • Discarded Syringes/Needles or other Drug related items – Do not touch these instead contact the Council / South Tyneside Homes on 191 427 7000 or 0300 123 6633 and someone who is trained in removing these will be sent.
  • Broken Glass – Only use your litter pickers to remove this and if there is a box or a container which this can be placed into do so – do not place glass in a litter bag.
  • Asbestos or other unknown materials – these should not be moved by volunteers, contact the Council on 0191 427 7000.

Let The Council Know Your Plans

Prior to carrying out a Litter Pick contact South Tyneside Homes on 0300 123 66 33 to agree an area to clear. Arrangements will also be made for the collection of the bags of litter collected by the group.

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