Your support needed for a ‘living wall’

Parents at St Mary’s RC primary school in Duke Rd are trying to do something to improve the air quality for the children who go to the school.

Their problem is that the wall of their playground runs along the side of the A4 and earlier this year they were found to be one of 50 schools with the most polluted air in London. The idea of the ‘living wall’ is that it would absorb some of the toxins from the air.

Andrea Carnevali heard about the Mayor of London’s initiative to match fundraising by local communities for projects which improve their area and is now in a battle against time to reach the required threshold of support to attract mayoral funding. They have two weeks before the deadline to show that they have sufficient local support for the project.

The ‘living wall’ has support from all political parties in the area: Green Party, Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat; Labour MP Ruth Cadbury has also raised the issue of air quality at the school in parliament.

The target is £70,000. Andrea told me the support they’ve received so far has been fantastic. Just last night someone made a donation of £500. Most people contribute around £20 but he says even £2 is immensely useful to them as more than anything they need the numbers to show that the initiative is popular locally.

If you’d like to chip in the address is

As well as the ‘Oasis’ which they hope will become a Chiswick landmark available to be appreciated by all, the parents’ anti-pollution committee, headed by Andrea, is also using separate funding given to the school in recognition of its status as one of the most polluted in the capital, to buy air purifiers for the classrooms, but they don’t come cheap. They have one on trial at the moment which will cost around £4,000 if they decide to buy it.