Local Teenager ‘s Litter Picking Initiative Inspires Friockheim and Seeks More Volunteers

James Anderson is a teenager who works very hard for his Friockheim community by helping others, from salting the pavements and cleaning the park in his village to giving anti-bullying talks. He is involved in various voluntary projects and initiatives and demonstrates real active citizenship.

He got involved in the Adopt-A-Street scheme for litter picking. His initiative was then extended to Friockheim Park and he created a Facebook page to let people know about the park’s amenities.

Keep Scotland Beautiful then selected Friockheim Park to be a Litter Picking Community Hub to help tackle lockdown litter. The Keep Scotland Beautiful scheme aims to help communities that are frustrated by litter worsening during, and following the easing of, lockdown.

The new hub is now offering to lend new litter pickings kits to individuals and community groups. The kits contain litter pickers, gloves, bag hoops, and hi-vis vests to help people take part in a litter pick.

James will hopefully get some more volunteers kitted out for his litter picks – these are usually advertised on the Parks Facebook. The local playgroup has already shown an interest and that would be an interesting outing for them! Some individuals have also agreed to become part of this community programme.

Arbroath Community Housing Team recently agreed to help out with storage for the community equipment and a lock-up is now available for storage and as a meeting point.

The equipment will be loaned to any interested volunteers and James wants to encourage this. You can contact James at jsa2003@btinternet.com or by calling 07517567518.

Do not be surprised if you get a recorded message saying “James’ Bin Washing Services” as he still manages to fit this sideline into his hectic schedule!!

More about James

James was diagnosed with Autism at the beginning of 2012. He was finding it hard going at school but in later years at Carnoustie High he matured and on leaving at 15 he then was able to attend Angus College in Arbroath studying Hospitality and Professional Cookery – completing before lockdown. James then managed to get part-time employment in an initially temporary role with ASDA (Arbroath) as a janitor/cleaner and he is enjoying that new challenge which, due to his performance, has now become a stable part of his life.

James as a teenager was always bored and wanting something to do. He had a great concern for the community as a whole and the vulnerable groups within. Through Enable Scotland in 2018 he was chosen to speak about his experiences at the United Nations in Geneva where he talked about children’s rights and cyberbullying – he was a ‘Change Champion’.

Even though now working, his volunteering has increased – officially over 500 hours and probably well over 1000! After his 16th birthday, we supplied him with an industrial salt spreader and PPE to compliment the equipment donated by Shepherds and Guild Homes the year before. He was disappointed with the mild weather we had last winter and looks forward to continuing with the village pavement salt spreading later in the year. James manages to grit the pavements of Friockheim before most of us have our first cup of tea! James knows the Roads and Housing teams well and they are only too aware of his continuing requests for salt (NO salt/sand mix please!)

Still with Angus Carers but limited due to COVID he intends to become an ‘official’ volunteer obtaining PVG and various training – he sees this as only right for all the help given to him and his family due to his autism. He enjoys helping others wither the ‘young ones’ or the community as a whole. His next planned personal improvement booked for the beginning of December is completing his three day ‘First Aid at Work’ course which he will see as an asset for others when he is in a volunteering role.

Other volunteering involved assisting at various local church events and Friockheim Community Hub. In the wider community, he can include stints at events such as Party at Pitskelly, Johnshaven Fish Festival & both Montrose and Forfar Triathalons. He also assisted his father in volunteering and raking the bunkers at Montrose Golf Courses on a Sunday morning before play started during the summer!

His Adopt a Street project is continuing and his work in the park has taken off dramatically! James was able to get substantial quantities of disinfectant from various suppliers F.O.C. just having to pay for delivery. He uses this to clean equipment in the park three or four times a week. He carries out litter picking almost daily and has a supply of litter pickers on hand should anyone wish to become involved.

Most recently, James was also pleased to have been nominated in different categories of the Angus Youth awards 2020 and very proud to have come in as the winner of the COVID 19 category as well as the winner of the Environment / Heritage category.

Litter Picking Community Hub at Friockheim:


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