Air quality in Newham

DEFRA Air Quality Awareness Programme

Earlier this year, the London Borough of Newham, in collaboration with the London Borough of Hackney, Tower Hamlets and the City of London, was awarded £313,720 by DEFRA’s Air Quality Fund to address the issue of low public awareness around air pollution and how individuals can reduce their exposure to air pollution.

Project objectives identified include:   

  • To work in partnership with the most affected communities by poor air quality through establishing an air quality champions network and delivering community engagement activities and events.
  • Train relevant health professionals to increase their knowledge and confidence in advising patients about air pollution.
  • Develop an interactive web tool to provide relevant air quality information in an easy-to-use and engaging way. 

The Council believes that engaging with communities to identify concerns and solutions can support in increasing awareness of how individuals can reduce their emissions and exposure. Furthermore, communities have the potential to offer invaluable support in improving air quality and environmental decision-making and widening understanding of air quality issues associated with public health. 

Cllr Dr John Whitworth, Commissioner for Air Quality and Climate Emergency at Newham Council said:

“Exposure to air pollution has a detrimental effect on health, and evidence suggests that people living in disadvantaged areas are disproportionately affected by poor air quality. We are looking for people who are passionate about climate and air quality and want to make a difference in their community.

“The Clean Air and Climate champions will work with the council to identify concerns and find solutions which can support the council in increasing awareness of how we can all reduce our emissions and exposure. The champions will support the council in improving air quality and environmental decision-making and widening understanding of air quality issues associated with public health.”

DEFRA Clean Air and Climate Champions

The Council is looking for passionate, enthusiastic people from Newham to help develop practical solutions for climate and air quality issues and then help disseminate that information to the broader public. The aims of the programme are:

  • To increase community awareness of air quality and associated health risks 
  • To co-design and create new ideas leading to new interventions to test 
  • To translate these ideas into practical activities targeted at the right audiences 
  • To help develop public communications strategy using evidence from wider public engagement and convert these into positive messaging. 

Residents who live or work in one of the following areas are encouraged to sign up:

  • Little Ilford & Manor Park
  • Forest Gate North & South
  • Plaistow North
  • Boleyn
  • Wall End
  • East Ham South
  • Custom House & Canning Town South
  • Canning Town North
  • Beckton

As part of the two-year programme, you will be invited to participate in a number of engagement activities, training sessions and workshops either face-to-face or online. The workshops will take place between January and February 2023. Please note that you do not have to have any prior knowledge of climate or air quality to take part and will be paid for your time to attend co-design workshops.

If this sounds like something you want to get involved in, please sign up by 3 March 2023 to express your interest in becoming Clean Air and Climate Champion.