Mums for Lungs is a grassroots community organisation founded in 2017 in Brixton. It was started in response to the high levels of air pollution locally and the impact it has on children and other vulnerable groups. Mums for Lungs campaigns on local, London-wide and national air pollution issues from providing input to local air quality plans to lobbying Government on clean air legislation. Membership is open to all, and is not dependent on being a parent.
We are supporting Mums for Lungs with flexible, core funding to grow its impact locally and as part of the wider clean air movement in the UK.
This funding will allow the founders of Mums for Lungs to develop the organisation across the next 18 months. Mums for Lungs will continue to deliver coordinated, grassroots campaigns and push for progressive change and a reduction in air pollution.
It will also cover costs for Lambeth focused projects, such as School Streets, where Mums for Lungs will continue to work with parents in the school environment, engage them in the campaign and transform the roads outside schools to reduce pollution by closing them to vehicles at certain times of day.
They will continue to lobby local and national government to push for greater ambition for clean air, and to find ways to reach a broader audience to further raise awareness and create lasting change amongst all demographics.
In the develop phase of the health effects of air pollution programme we have been exploring how we can best influence school environments as children are one of the most vulnerable groups to air pollution. We think an important route to schools acting is pressure from parents.
Additionally, 2020 and 2021 are critical years for clean air campaigning at a local and national level. The Environment Bill and COP26 have been postponed, and there is a key opportunity to influence as the UK emerges from lockdown.
This funding for Mums for Lungs will enable them to continue growing their impact and shore up their long-term sustainability.
Mums for Lungs is a grassroots community organisation founded by Jemima Hartshorn in 2017 in Brixton in response to the high levels of air pollution locally and the impact it has on children and other vulnerable groups. Mums For Lungs campaigns on local, London-wide and national air pollution issues from providing input to local air quality plans to lobbying Government on clean air legislation.
It has now expanded to three voluntary groups in Lambeth and Southwark with a particular focus around Brixton/Herne Hill, East Sheen/Richmond and E17/Waltham Forest. Each Mums for Lungs group consists of 7-8 core people who lead the actions, social media, strategy, policy letters and media responses, supported by approximately 20-25 people per group.
Mums for Lungs collaborate with a range of partners such as the Air Team, Clean Air Parent Network, London Cycling Campaign, Sustrans, Car Free Day and more. Many campaigning organisations and researchers use the Mums for Lungs parent network to understand local experiences.
Air pollution is a public health crisis that is still relatively unknown amongst the general public. Children growing up in illegally polluted areas can suffer from irreversible stunted lung growth. Road transport is the primary source of pollution, despite low car ownership across the boroughs. We are also amid a respiratory pandemic, and the occurrence and severity of COVID-19 cases are being linked to high levels of air pollution. At the same time, public transport capacity has been significantly reduced and hence there are real concerns in a rise in car ownership and driving. It is therefore of huge importance that awareness of air pollution is increased and groups such as Mums for Lungs campaign strongly at a local and national level.
This partnership will have the following benefits:
1. To get the message about the dangers of air pollution into as many schools as possible, those in more polluted areas. Strategies include reaching out to headteachers at schools, to residents associations, and places of worship to offer tailored assemblies, 1 to 1 support, and webinars.
2. To raise awareness amongst all demographics, but especially those who may not be contributing as much to air pollution but suffering the effects most.
3. To push for both Lambeth and Southwark councils to show greater ambition on measures to reduce air pollution such as enable active travel and School Streets.
4. To support the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) expansion and to push for stronger clean air targets in the upcoming Environment Bill, including by lobbying for commitments by London mayoral candidates.
5. Develop and grow smaller campaigns that aim to reduce air pollution by focusing on car advertising, home deliveries, homeworking after lockdown, and woodburning in urban areas.
6. Enable Mums for Lungs to empower other parents to form their own, sustainable, clean air parent group that delivers change.
Portfolio Manager: Rachel Pidgeon
05 August, 2020
Early Stage Investment for Tackling Air Pollution is a joint research Project with Bethnal Green Ventures. Through research, interviews with founders and investors, and a virtual workshop, it examines how different technologies are addressing air pollution.