Be The Change Education Programme – Newcastle Schools Join Forces With SAS To Tackle Litter!

Over 1500 pupils from across the North East join forces with Surfers Against Sewage and the Greggs Foundation to tackle litter in their communities as part of their new Be The Change UK Education Tour.

Be The Change Education Programme - Anti-Litter Action

Pupils from Hilton Academy getting stuck into some Anti-Litter Action


Be The Change is a nationwide, litter busting, education programme and award scheme that tours the UK challenging pupils to take a leading role in keeping their communities litter free.

Our education team visited 6 North East schools from the 13th – 21st October, with over 1500 pupils from Wyndham Primary, Walkergate Primary, South Shields Primary, Hilton Academy, Saltburn Learning Campus and Holley Park Academy taking on the Be The Change challenge!

Each school learnt the effect that litter has on their communities before conducting a special (and very noisy!) ‘TRASH MOB’ litter pick and investigation in their school grounds. Fueled with new knowledge pupils turned to creating their very own Anti-Litter Action plans to implement in their school, creating positive and imaginative solutions to the litter crisis. We were blown away by the creativity and commitment of the students. They produced amazing ideas ranging from virtual reality litter missions to an inspirational and awareness raising song they can’t wait to receive the school’s Action Plans ahead of the awards!


  • 1500 pupils reached
  • 12 interactive class workshops
  • 12 ‘Trash Mob’ school litter investigations took place
  • 6 schools to enter the inaugural Be The Change North East Awards
  • £250 to be awarded to the winning school

“Fantastic approach to engaging children… Brilliant, fun and knowledgeable. Surfers Against Sewage ran a fantastic, engaging and informative assembly and workshops, Thank You.” Niki Mackay, Teacher, Holley Park Academy


We’re all part of a Litter disaster! Every day in the UK 2.25 million pieces of litter are dropped on our streets (1). Most of this consists of unnecessary single-use plastic items that escape from every part of our lives and persist in the environment for hundreds of years causing harm to wildlife, habitats, human health and wellbeing.

“Litter and plastic pollution is now an expected sight on streets, beaches, rivers and playgrounds across the UK and beyond. I think that by raising awareness of the impact that it has on our environment we can all take positive steps to tackle it. What better way to do so than by asking for the help of school children across the UK!?” Ellie Ewart, SAS Education & Design Officer

(c) Paul Quayle.


The six participating schools are now in with the chance of winning a £250 grant to implement their project in their school or community. With such a plethora of ideas already being entered the Be The Change judging panel will certainly have their work cut out!


Over the next school year Be The Change will be visiting four other regions across the UK and will also be available online to make sure schools in hard to reach corners of the country can take part too!

“Greggs Foundation is delighted to be working with SAS on their Be The Change programme. Getting children from our Breakfast Clubs and other schools in our local communities to think about what small changes they can make to improve their community is fantastic. The children’s enthusiasm and creative thinking is inspiring to see and some of their great plans are already becoming a reality with innovations such as the ‘Super Sweeper Sliders’ and  ‘House Bins’. This year, we hope to engage more than 7,000 children nationwide with the programme, so we are really excited to see what they come up with to help keep plastic out of the oceans.” Tracy Lynch, Head of the Greggs Foundation

We are now calling for interested schools, pupils or parents to get in touch and register their interest in this programme. If it sounds like the challenge for you please get in touch with SAS Education Officer Ellie on; [email protected]


(1) 1. Keep Britain Tidy, (2016). Clean for The Queen for Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Feb. 2016].