Waltham Forest Cares for Clean Air (WFCFCA) is a community action group on air pollution.

In 2015, local resident Charlotte Schilcher won a grant from Mapping for Change at UCL to monitor air pollution in the community. With overwhelming interest and help from Waltham Forest residents this citizen science project uncovered some disturbing levels of air pollution in the borough and spurred the group to do wider testing. The second round of testing was funded by local residents, and the worrying results generated more interest from local people who wanted something to be done to reduce air pollution levels.

The group now has over 650 members, who organize themselves on Facebook. The group’s main aim is to raise awareness amongst residents and influence behaviour change. Recent group actions have included supporting anti-idling days outside schools, run by Waltham Forest Council. On these days, volunteers talk to parents about the health impacts on children of leaving the car engine running at the school gates.

Now the group is organising Waltham Forest Clean Air Day, as part of National Clean Air day, to deliver a borough wide message encouraging children and parents to leave the car at home. At least 5,000 children from 24 schools across Waltham Forest are expected to walk, scoot and cycle to school on 15 June demanding clean air. Those taking part will wear blue wristbands, funded by parents and local businesses, saying “Say yeah to clean air”. They will then tell their friends and teachers about the risks of air pollution.