Two year ago St Mary’s School was one of the 50 most polluted schools in London and a recent survey by the Times said it was the most polluted in the whole of Hounslow.
In 2018 a group of parents set out to change all that and turn it into one of the greenest
In September 2018, after an extensive research of ways to tackle pollution, we started a crowdfund campaign to build a green infrastructure along the brick wall that separates the school to the A4 (with a flow of about 80,000 vehicles a day).
- Recent studies tell us that green walls can cut pollution by anything between 20% 50%. Itwill also provide opportunities for biodiversity through the variety of native plant species (pollinating invertebrates and birds). It will offer additional educational and wellbeing benefits for the children and alike
Part of the newly refurbish playground will also be open to the public on week-ends and holidays to host markets, fairs, etc..
The campaign, backed by our local MP Ruth Cadbury and all of our local councillors, was very successful and the Mayor of London awarded it with £32,000 as one of London’s best civic initiatives of 2018.
At which point several celebrities got on board too and sent various video messages endorsing the project: David Dimbleby, Jeremy Paxman, Claudia Winkleman, Emma Thompson among the others
In less than three month the newly named “Chiswick Oasis” campaign managed to raise almost £100,000, was featured in every media outlet, on TV, from Sky News, ITV, C5, and on newspapers like The Metro, the Independent, the Daily Mail and recently twice on the Times, including on its front page.
The money raised and the media attention allowed the campaign, headed by one of the parents, Andrea Carnevali (recently awarded community champion by the Hounslow borough) to broaden its horizons.
Today these are some of the achievements:
- A 130 metres long living wall in the playground: this will not only cut the pollution levels in the playground but it’ll help the general wellbeing of children and staff.
- A partnership with ARUP and Enjoy Work
- New £4,000 air purifiers are about to be bought and placed inside each classrooms: they will reduce pollution inside the classroom by 92%
- We’ve re-painted our ground floor at St Mary’s (including the kitchen and dining area) with a special paint from Airlite which will help clean the air inside by 88%.
- In order to encourage more parents to leave their cars at home and walk to school (or use bikes/public transport) we’ve launched a #NoCarsFriday initiative, which has had the support of the Council and local businesses alike. More and more schools are now joining this initiative every week. We’re now also working with the GLA to spread this beyond Chiswick, across London.
- We’re working with the Council to close a section of our road to school to traffic during drop off and pick up.
- We’ll be running Forest School classes, recycling classes, ecology classes all towards making our children more aware about the environment.
- We’re working closely with the local councillors to organise clean up days along the streets of Chiswick
- We’re adding more plants inside the school
- We’re campaigning to include the A4 in the ULEZ from 2021
- Next Autumn, aided by Trees for Cities, we’ll be building a whole new £30,000 edible garden.
The Chiswick Oasis Launch
On the 29thof June we are having a grand launch of the Chiswick Oasis, in conjunction with St. Mary’s School, the William Hogarth School and the Hogarth Youth Centre, as they all share the playground.
There will be games for children (bouncy castles etc..) free classes for adults and children alike (meditation, yoga, dances, etc…) , food and drinks offered by parents and businesses in Chiswick. There will also be bands playing, choirs and entertainment of all kind, and all in the theme of “sustainability”.
There will be media coverage as celebrity and politicians are expected to attend too.
The fair will start at 11:00 and go on into the evening until 6.30pm.
At around 12:30pm the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan will unveiling the plaque next to the newly built green wall which has been built thanks to the amazing support of the local community.
The Chiswick Oasis will be an area which eventually will be open to the public during holidays and week-ends when the school is closed. A place to host markets, fairs and exhibitions aimed at drawing people in an enhance the sense of community.
- If you’re interested in taking part to this event please contact us
- For more photos publicity photos click here or browse our website.
- To see the videos relating to the campaign, including news, and celebrity endorsement click here