Ealing Friends of the Earth’s event took place in Southall, a densely populated, multicultural part of the borough with some degree of poverty. Despite the council taking measures to tackle known traffic issues there, the group’s monitoring uncovered high levels of air pollution.
The group organised an event at a well-known community hub – mixing presentations from speakers, discussion groups on different topics and refreshments. To make sure everyone was represented, the group worked hard to invite local community and faith groups, students and elected decision makers like councillors and MPs.
EALING's event – in their own words
We picked Southall because it's a part of our borough that we’ve done very little work in before and there’s lots of traffic congestion and bottlenecks in the area. We know from our own monitoring that there is a high degree of air pollution too. The event was a great way to engage residents, finding out their concerns and what is already being done about them.
We already had some contacts with the local Transition and A Rocha groups, who are very active and helped publicise our event. And as well as collecting details of various residents', community and faith groups we had a stall at a college Freshers' Fair.
We also got in touch with local primary schools to let them know about the Clean Air Schools Pack and see if they would welcome any help with projects.
We want to build relationships with both individuals and groups in Southall so that we can work together on local issues. It's important to us that we aren't seen as coming in to tell people what they should do, but rather as offering help and information.
See our guidance on alliance building and advice on working with people most affected by air pollution.