Key information for Litter Networks Volunteers
in relation to the Safeguarding of Children & Young People:

Contact details you need to know:
Litter Networks Designated Safeguarding Person: James Coates 07871 382709
Police 999
NSPCC Helpline 0808 800 5000

If a child needs to talk in confidence then tell them about Childline:
Freephone number 0800 1111 or


Children and young people play a key role in assisting Litter Networks in their mission to create safe, clean & vibrant communities in which everyone can live, work & thrive. Their welfare is paramount. Litter Networks believes that all children and young people regardless of age, disability, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or identity, or religious belief have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse. 

Litter Networks adopts the definition used in the Children Act 2004 which defines safeguarding and protecting the welfare of children as: 

  • protecting children from maltreatment; 
  • preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development; 
  • ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

The above statutory guidance defines child protection as part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. Child protection is the activity undertaken to protect specific children and young people who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.

All children have the right under Article 12 of the United Nations, to live in a safe and clean neighbourhood.

At Litter Networks we do not undertake direct supervision of children & young people (CYP). When CYP participate in Litter Networks sessions it strictly under the following two parameters:

  1. Under direct supervision of a parent / legal guardian who is also litter picking with their child as part of the session.
  2. Under direction supervision of a loco-parentis such as a school teacher who has arranged for his/her class to join in with a Litter Networks session.

This consequently means that Litter Networks Volunteers are not required to undergo a DBS check.

Policy Statement

This policy outlines the responsibilities of Litter Networks in relation to the protection of the children and young people it supports. The organisation undertakes to: 

  • treat children and young people with care, respect and dignity; 
  • listen to and help them (through their parents or teachers) with anything related to community based litter picking / clean-up activities; 
  • ensure that we avoid unsupervised contact with the children. 
  • assess and seek to minimise the risks to children who take part in our activities.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who volunteers on behalf of the organisation has a role to play and should ensure that their approach considers at all times what is in the best interests of the child. 

Litter Networks has a Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP), James Coates, who can be contacted on 07871 382709 and  The DSL is responsible for ensuring that the Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy and procedures are adhered to.  

In implementing this policy, Litter Networks will:

  • Ensure that all those who volunteer for Litter Networks  understand their duty to report concerns that arise about a child or young person, or an individual’s conduct towards a child/young person, to the DSP; 
  • Ensure that the Litter Networks DSP understands his responsibility to refer any safeguarding concerns to the statutory child protection agencies (i.e. Police and/or Children’s Social Care); 

Identifying Potential or Actual harm to Children

Indicators of abuse can take many varied forms and the identification of physical signs can be complicated as children may go to great lengths to hide any such signs.

A child who is being abused or neglected may:

  • have bruises, bleeding, burns, fractures or other re-occurring minor injuries;  
  • show signs of pain or discomfort;  
  • keep arms and legs covered even in warm weather;  
  • look unkempt and uncared for;  
  • have difficulty in making or sustaining friendships; 
  • appear fearful;  
  • frequently arrive late for lessons;  
  • display a change in behaviour;  
  • be constantly tired or pre-occupied; or 
  • be wary of physical contact.

Individual indicators will rarely, in isolation, provide conclusive evidence of abuse. However, it is important that volunteers report any concerns in this regard, however minor or insignificant they may think they are – they do not need ‘absolute proof’ that the child is at risk nor is it their responsibility to investigate or decide whether such abuse is taking place.

Discussing, recording and reporting concerns

Litter Networks recognises its duty to follow up and report all concerns or allegations made against any of its volunteers and all such concerns or allegations of abuse will be treated seriously. If an allegation is made, the DSP should be informed, and a disciplinary investigation will be carried out. There may also be criminal (police) investigations. If necessary, the appropriate authorities will be contacted and if there is any concern for the immediate safety of a child or young person then the police/social services will be contacted.  

This policy is reviewed regularly and updated as required.

Adoption date: 16/05/24 | Next Review date: 16/05/25