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Keeping Adur and Worthing clean and tidy

How can I get involved in keeping Adur and Worthing clean and tidy?

Join an existing group - Adur and Worthing have a number of groups who regularly undertake clean up activities the area.

These include:

Start a new group - if there isn't a group near you, contact us or look at our website to see if there might be an opportunity to start a new group.

Undertake a one off clean up - If you are a school, group, business or local residents and you would like to undertake a one-off clean up contact us for for further advice.

Clean ups on private land - whilst the Councils can provide some support for clean ups on private land such as private garage compounds and back alleys; it cannot be undertaken under the insurance of the Councils. Permission to undertake the activity should be obtained from the owner and insurance obtained.

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Support available from the Councils

The Councils will help and support groups as much as we can:

  • We can offer support to help set up the activity
  • Provide equipment such as litter pickers and hoops as well as protective equipment like hi-vis, gloves, etc
  • Remove the litter collected (by prior arrangement)
  • Promote the activity on social media

Further support can be found on the:

or you can contact:

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Do we need insurance?

All groups that work on Worthing Borough Council land can be covered for public liability insurance by Worthing Borough Council on the condition that we have given you permission, you have carried out a risk assessment (see below) and you have signed an agreement.

Existing groups should look at whether they need additional insurance and check with your insurers to ensure that you are covered for your activities. If you are a new group and just starting off, for help and advice before you get started, please contact:

It is recommended that any individual or group carrying out work in the community takes out Public Liability Insurance to provide protection in the event that third party injury or property damage occurs as a result of the individual or groups activity. Whilst the Councils' own insurance policy does extend to provide Public Liability cover for volunteers whilst carrying out the normal business of the Councils and where permission has been granted, any initiative outside of this definition, i.e works on private land, would not be included and in such circumstances the individual or group would be responsible for arranging their own cover.

Insurance for this type of activity can be obtained from:

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What do we do about Health & Safety?

Consider risks

  • Gardening and outdoor work is an enjoyable activity but organisers and volunteers need to be aware of potential risks, take adequate steps to avoid anyone getting hurt and know what to do if someone becomes ill or injured. This is called 'risk assessment' and we will expect you to show that you take this responsibility seriously.

The site

  • The Parks and Foreshores Team will need to conduct an initial risk assessment of the site with you and give you some training. It will then be easy for you to review that assessment every time you work there, which is important because conditions change, e.g. busier road conditions at access points, more members of the public around, ground conditions more slippery, falling branches,etc.

The activities

  • You should consider the activities you intend to do and whether anyone in your group or any member of the public could be hurt by them. If so, you need to take an appropriate step to reduce the level of risk, in terms of both likelihood and severity. If there is no way to reduce a high-risk, the activity must not go ahead. You must make this assessment every time because something will be different even though the activity is the same. You should be especially mindful for volunteers who might be vulnerable because of age (young or old), health, physical condition (like pregnancy), physical or learning disability, language capability, etc.
  • Volunteers should be advised in advance to wear strong footwear and clothing appropriate for the tasks and the weather conditions (which may change), including waterproofs.
  • Have a 'tools talk' before you start to show people how to use the equipment safely, how to avoid injury from manual work and to brief them of any hazards (including poisonous or irritant plants, soil micro-organisms which can enter the bloodstream via cuts and broken skin) or adverse conditions.
  • Power tools must not be used by groups on Council sites unless you have prior approval from the parks team. For any tasks requiring power tools such as hedge cutters or mowers, users would first need to have appropriate training and the specific tasks agreed.
  • Advise volunteers to work at their own pace and capability, take regular breaks and vary tasks. They should have drinks and snacks as required, taking care to clean hands first.
  • Gloves should be worn in nearly all practical activities. Do you have enough? Do you need other protective clothing such as high visibility jackets, safety glasses, helmets? These items can be borrowed from the Parks and Foreshores team at the Council; if you don't have them, just ask.
  • Below is a sample risk assessment form that your group may like to use, but we can offer help carrying out a risk assessment.
  • If you want more information about risk assessment, or have any queries, please speak to the Parks and Foreshores Team. Or you can follow this link to a Community Action Toolkit produced by Bristol City Council, including specific models you could adapt for litter clearance, clearance of streams and watercourses, scrub and vegetation clearance, tree planting and other planting tasks, hedge laying and tree pruning, guided walks and talks.

General considerations for any outdoor volunteer activity

  • Your local A&E department is located at Worthing Hospital, Lyndhurst Road, BN11 2DH. Have access to a mobile, or coins for a phone box, in case of emergencies and dial 999. Access routes to the site should be kept clear for emergency vehicles and public paths unobstructed. You must tell the Parks and Foreshores Team if there is an accident or a near miss so we can all consider how best to avoid something similar in future.
  • It is ideal if a qualified First Aider is present, in which case, do you have a first aid kit? If not, have a 'welfare' kit (including sun block) which volunteers can use themselves.
  • Ask people to sign in and then sign out at the end of the event.
  • Children and young people must be accompanied by an adult who is responsible for them at all times.
  • Clean hands if they contact any animal excreta, so that no hand-to-mouth transfer is possible.

Important note:

  • Under no circumstances should anyone pick up dangerous or hazardous litter such as needles, sharps or hazardous materials. Make a note of the location and report it straight away to the cleansing department on 01273 263156.

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