Posted on Wednesday 9th October 2019
Pupils Jake Spencer, age 10, Alfie Spencer, age 8, Myrsini Oikonomidou, age 10 and Josh Maddox, age 9 with their black balloons and Mark Sutton, Cabinet Member for Children & Young People at Staffordshire County Council
Pupils from Heath Hayes Primary Academy in Cannock are urging drivers to switch off their engines outside school as part of a new campaign to reduce air pollution.
The campaign, which started on Monday 7 October, will run for 3 days during the school runs to and from school and aims to reduce the amount of pollution around the school from idling vehicles.
Pupils accompanied by school staff will be explaining to drivers the risks of leaving their engines on when parked up. Drivers will be told that for every minute they are idling they will produce enough foul exhaust fumes to fill around 150 balloons.
Pupils, wearing Hi-Vis jackets and armed with flags and banners will be cheering those parents and drivers who pledge not to idle outside the school.
Amy Fidler, Headteacher at the school said:
“I’m incredibly proud of the pupil’s efforts to reduce air pollution around the school. They are really determined to make a difference and are really enjoying the anti-idling part of the campaign.
“Air pollution outside schools is a major issue at the minute and it’s important that we all do our bit to tackle the problem. Last term on Clean Air Day we managed to reduce it by 20% which is no mean feat and shows that if we all do our bit we can make a difference.”
Helen Fisher, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Transport and Highways, added:
“Air pollution is a problem for everyone but as we can see from the amazing work done by Heath Hayes pupils and parents it’s very possible that with some small changes, we can make a difference.
“Our Air Aware and anti-idling campaign is really simple and will help to raise everyone’s awareness of the issue. And, remember, by walking or cycling to school to, we can improve our health through exercise, limit air pollution and lower greenhouse gases and all at the same time.”
The Staffordshire Air Aware Project continues to work with schools, businesses and the wider public to raise awareness of Air Pollution and improve air quality in the worst affected areas of Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent. It’s one of 15 areas in the region to be given funding to tackle the issue.
In Staffordshire around 600 deaths every year can be linked to Air Pollution which is also linked to respiratory and heart disease and can cause cancer and severe asthma attacks as well as affecting children’s development.
People can find out more about the small actions they can take to help reduce air pollution at http://airaware.doingourbit.info