Primary schools join forces on air pollution

Purfleet Primary

“Idling is fuelish!”

“Idling is fuelish” said children from Thurrock schools after they joined forces with Thurrock Council and encouraged people to take action to reduce air pollution.

Children from two schools took part in the UK’s first ever National Clean Air Day (15 June). Pupils from Woodside Academy in Grays and Purfleet Primary Academy, spoke to parents at the end of the school day and encouraged them to turn their car engines off whilst they were waiting to pick up their children.

The children, armed with Hi-Vis jackets and awareness boards patrolled the parked cars outside the school gates to highlight the harm caused by fuel emissions and the impact on health. Children spoke to drivers and passengers and asked them to pledge that they will “turn their key and be idle free”.

Air pollution increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and asthma attacks, as well as being associated with dementia.

Cllr Brian Little, Portfolio Holder for Highways and Transportation, who took part in the activities on the day, said: “National Clean Air Day was a fantastic initiative and we were delighted to work with schools in the borough to raise awareness of pollution and the difference which can be made by making simple changes.

“The day is part of a wider programme of public health campaigns that we actively get involved with to help improve the health of our residents in Thurrock.”

In the run up to the day, event organisers delivered informative and engaging assemblies to teach children about the dangers of idling cars and the impact of air pollution; especially on little lungs.

Pupils were asked to design a poster to illustrate the risks to health of poor air quality. The winning poster was printed onto t-shirts worn by volunteers, events team and the children taking part during the awareness day (pictured).

Clverybody made a small change it can quickly have a huge positive impact on air quality in our community and hopefully, today we’ve helped spread the word.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to the children that worked really hard to design some incredible posters, which made the task of choosing a winner very difficult for us.

“We would also like to thank the staff and parents for helping to make the event an enjoyable learning experience.”

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