Image of an empty swingset.

Health effects of air pollution

Campaigning to protect children from air pollution

We’re supporting the Ella Roberta Family Foundation to campaign on the health effects of air pollution, with a particular aim to protect children from poor air quality.

Key info:

What are we doing together?

Clean air means better health for children.

We want to improve air quality for everyone, but evidence shows children are particularly susceptible to the health effects of air pollution. Yet parents and children have little control over how much air pollution they are exposed to. We think this is unfair and needs to change.

In 2004, Ella Roberta Adoo Kissi Debrah was born in London, happy and healthy. Aged nine, Ella had a fatal asthma attack and became the first person in the world to have air pollution listed as a cause of death. Ella’s tragic death emphasised the urgent need for action from our government, and others around the world, to improve air quality.

Following her daughter’s death, Rosamund co-founded the Ella Roberta Family Foundation (ERFF) to campaign for clean air, so other families do not lose their children to the devasting effects of air pollution.  

ERFF’s campaigning was pivotal to the passing of the Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill, named after Ella, in the House of Lords in 2022. If passed to law, it will create a human right to breathe air “free from certain pollutants or concentrations of pollutants above certain levels.” Two years later, the Bill is still being deliberated by MPs in the House of Commons.  

In collaboration with the Clean Air Fund, we are co-funding ERFF to continue their work locally, nationally, and internationally. 

ERFF is a small foundation that relies on a dedicated team of volunteers. They have clear objectives around local, national, and global policy campaigning, including lobbying government on clean air legislation, and engaging young people on this issue which has such a huge impact on their lives. To achieve its goals, the Foundation needs to grow, build its capacity, and develop its fundraising and project management capabilities. Our support will enable this growth.

We are partnering with ERFF because they bring heart and humanity to clean air campaigns.  By sharing her story, Rosamund speaks powerfully about the tragic impact of air pollution. Rosamund is a respected clean air advocate who has raised awareness on a national and international scale, including speaking at COP26 and a TED talk on the tragedy of air pollution

Aim of the partnership

By supporting ERFF we hope to see changes that will improve air quality and health in the places most affected by air pollution.

We hope our investment in ERFF will provide the financial security needed to build the foundations for future growth and expansion into new areas. This will put the organisation in a stronger, more sustainable position for the future.

Connection to our strategy

Our Health effects of air pollution programme aims to reduce exposure to air pollution for those most affected. One of our priorities is to engage and amplify the voices of communities most affected by air pollution. Air pollution affects us all but it has a disproportionate effect on certain people including children, older people, people with health conditions, and people from Black and other racially minoritised communities.

We have learnt that one of the most effective ways to amplify often unheard voices is to put our backing and resources behind community-led organisations that already exist in the clean air space. The Ella Roberta Family Foundation has a high profile, significant influence, and an impressive track record in campaigning for clean air.

Olamide Raheem

Want to find out more about this project?

Contact Portfolio Manager Olamide Raheem

Contact Olamide