Wigan schoolgirl's winning message to remind drivers to switch off car engines

Parents on the school run will start seeing reminders to turn off their car engines thanks to the creative talents of a young pupil.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 4:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 4:03 pm
Alice with her winning poster

Alice Boon, who attends Highfield St Matthew’s Church of England Primary School, has deigned the winning poster to spearhead Wigan Council’s Don’t Be Idle campaign, which launches next week.

Her artwork, featuring the message “It’s not fair to pollute our air”, outlines why engines should be turned off in the vicinity of schools.

It is hoped the five-year-old’s polite reminder to drivers will mean the air becomes cleaner and healthier for everyone.

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Alice with her classmates

Coun Paul Prescott, the council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “A big congratulations goes to Alice on her fantastic and imaginative design which conveys the importance of thinking about the environment.

“Never has it been more vital to get the clean air message out. Air pollution is something that affects all of us, just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean that it’s not having an impact of our health.

“Children’s health is particularly at risk so I hope parents will spot Alice’s poster and think twice about leaving their engine running.”

Alice’s poster will be on display around all borough primary schools to remind parents about the environmental impact of leaving their engines running.

Deputy headteacher Guy Lovgreen said: “We’re delighted for Alice, her poster really does encapsulate the problem that all schools face.

“We work hard with our wider community to educate and support with matters relating to the environment in the hope we make a brighter, cleaner future for our children’s generation.”

Air pollution contributes to 1,200 early deaths in Greater Manchester each year with more than 100 of those linked to Wigan borough.

The campaign is just one measure taken by the council in its attempt to ensure the borough becomes cleaner, greener and more sustainable.

This year, the council will be organising its inaugural Green Summit and holding its second eco-schools conference, which looks to engage children from an early age on the importance of becoming more environmentally friendly.

Wigan is also one of the 10 boroughs in Greater Manchester working to bring down air pollution by signing up to the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan.

Schools that still want to take an active part in cleaner air efforts can do so by visiting the website for Clean Air GM Schools, where there are curriculum-linked lesson plans and resources with the latest scientific understanding and campaign tools.