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Schoolchildren hold protest to help reduce Sheffield's air pollution

Clean air protest by pupils at Oasis Academy Fir Vale
Clean air protest by pupils at Oasis Academy Fir Vale

Pupils in Sheffield have taken part in a protest outside their school in a bid to reduce air pollution.

Children at Oasis Academy Fir Vale, in Fir Vale, made posters urging people to ditch cars and use cleaner modes of travel instead.

Clean air protest by pupils at Oasis Academy Fir Vale

Clean air protest by pupils at Oasis Academy Fir Vale

The event was part of a number of initiatives held at the school to reduce air pollution and and enable it to gain its Modeshift Stars silver award, a national initiative which encourages safe and sustainable travel.

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The Government has made air quality a key environmental policy and in Sheffield, one of five UK cities that regularly breaches EU and World Health Organisation thresholds, dirty air is understood to be the root cause of at least 500 deaths a year, costing the city £160 million in lost working days annually because of illness.

Sheffield Council has approved a wide-ranging strategy to roll out measures including a ban to prevent drivers from leaving engines running outside schools and hospitals. There is also the prospect of a clean air zone’ that could involve certain vehicles being charged.

Oasis Avademy Fir Vale teamed up with the Burngreave Clear Air Team to learn about the dangers of unclean air.

Clean air protest by pupils at Oasis Academy Fir Vale

Clean air protest by pupils at Oasis Academy Fir Vale

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Children have been enjoying healthy breakfasts and also completed a 10 day active challenge, which saw them given stickers if they walked, cycled, rode scooters or took public transport to get to schools.

Principal Helen Round said: “At Oasis Academy Fir Vale we want to help our children grow and progress, not just academically but as young people.

“They have been so enthusiastic about being healthy and getting to school in a way that reduces the air pollution – we are very proud of them.”

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Senior learning mentor Rashad Hassan said: “The children have been terrific, and have loved all the challenges and new things we have done around getting healthy, and making Sheffield a nicer place to live.

“They have really embraced changing their habits around getting to and from school, and eating healthier foods – thanks to our parents for their support too.”