With the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, working hard to improve London’s air through his new air quality strategy Clearing the Air we thought it would be a good time to reflect on our Clean Air, Yeah!, project which took place in Spring last year.

Air pollution affects everyone who lives and works in London, but the groups that are most vulnerable to poor air quality include children and those with heart and respiratory conditions. For Clean Air, Yeah! GO Create! partnered the Great Ormond Street Hospital Energy Department with the aim of improving the air quality on and around Great Ormond Street.

Participants with respiratory conditions worked with artist, Sion Ap Tomos, to draw landmarks in the local area which were used to create walking maps for those coming to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), encouraging them to walk rather than drive to hospital. Patients from Badger Ward worked with Artist Shelley Wain to create an animation which they narrated with personal stories explaining the effect air pollution has on their respiratory conditions and how it makes them feel. Both the Clean Air, Yeah! animation and the Walking Maps are available online on the Travelling to GOSH webpages.

The impact of the project has been significant; ambulance driver idling has been eradicated. Low emission travel between stations and hospital increased from 63% to 79%, with a total of around 38,000 annual journeys making the shift. The percentage of taxis booked through the hospital that are now low and zero emission has increased from 70 per cent to 91 per cent, and visitors are reporting that Great Ormond Street is a more pleasant place to be – quieter and less polluted.

The project received a National Air Quality Award for Best Air Quality Communications Campaign.