Join the Fight Against Air Pollution
Mums for Lungs is a volunteer campaign group formed of passionate parents who want to protect their children’s health and raise awareness of air pollution, with three branches so far in Brixton, East Sheen and a very new one in E17.
Mums for Lungs believe politicians are failing to take sufficient action to tackle the UK’s air pollution crisis, which is linked to a wide variety of illnesses ranging from diabetes and cancer to dementia and respiratory conditions. Children are some of the most vulnerable and the UK has one of the highest child asthma rates in the world.
One of their current campaigns is on School Streets. Around 800 schools and colleges in London are in illegally polluted areas, more than half of which are primary and secondary schools. With this proximity, it’s no wonder our children’s lungs are suffering.
School Streets close roads around schools at drop off and pick up times, reducing air pollution around the school gates where children are clustered twice a day. They also give everyone a safe opportunity to cycle, scoot and walk to school and discourage parents and residents from driving in general, making the roads safer for everyone and encouraging healthy active travel.
Many London boroughs have started trialling Schools Streets already, including Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Camden, Croydon, Haringey, Southwark, Islington, Greenwich, Lambeth and Wandsworth, and the scheme is becoming increasingly popular.
But councils need support for this to happen, from both parents and schools. Mums for Lungs recently received funding to help reach out to parents and empower them to join together and approach their headteachers and governors about implementing a School Street. The idea is that teachers will then approach their councillors, who will hopefully show willing from the top down.
Mums for Lungs hope that School Streets will lead to more liveable and low-emission neighbourhoods, road closures, better cycling and walking. Their long term aspiration is to create a totally different and much better environment for all families to live in.