Putting ideas into action


In June, we asked local people:

Do you have an idea for a small project which responds to air pollution and helps promote healthier streets in St Denys?

Would you like some funding to try this out?

Breathing Spaces could fund 6-10 bursary ideas at £400 each, with the opportunity to spend a total of £4,000. This money comes courtesy of our funder Nesta. We asked for feedback at our Clean Air Ideas drop-in and also via our residents’ panel. If you have any comments please do let us know: breathe@socollective.org.uk

What has been submitted so far? How much is requested/needed? What feedback has been received so far?
Front Garden Plus
A project to encourage planting and greening of gardens and other open, unloved spaces.
– Absorb pollution
– Improve the environment
– Community spirit, pride and engagement
– Health benefits Proposed by a team of seven local residents.
£400 for leaflets and distribution, basic supplies, saplings etc. Lots of positive feedback, the community seems to like the idea of a greenery project. Quite a few people have said they would like to get actively involved in this. Members of the community have said that Front Garden Plus and Rebel Gardeners should work together, and those who submitted seem to keen to do this too.   People say they value real action and also the focus on human health and wellbeing.
Rebel Gardeners
Engage the local community to re-green and replant urban areas of the community.
– Address urban disengagement with nature and environment
– Improve awareness in children around good sources of healthy eating
Proposed by local voluntary organisation Rebel Gardeners Southampton  
£200 to start on planters with veg, £800 gets us nearer a green wall.
All Aboard River Festival A waterborne, water-edge music/theatre production on 31 August, located on the St Denys stretch of the River Itchen. There will be clean air themed storytelling & a clean air banner to be ‘paraded afloat’ during the event.
Hosted by St Denys Boat Club, Chris Townsend and Deb Wilkes.
£400 for clean air storytelling and a clean air banner. There is considerable local support for such initiative, judging by the facebook event interest and the number of people involved.
 Projects which are under discussion How much?
Photography: older people in St Denys
in order to help create a narrative around clean air.  
By a local photographer.
Discussions ongoing  – presume a £400 budget.  
Photography: people in masks
With a focus on empathy and how we can all change the system, not an ‘us and them’ approach to clean air challenges.  
By a local photographer.
Application due soon – presume a £400 budget.  
Clean Air Mural
Located on local wall e.g. by the train station. Suggested by local residents, would be undertaken by a local artist
To be commissioned – presume a £400 budget.  
Clean Air Film
To showcase the work of the community, Clean Air Cafés and Breathing Spaces. Demonstrate the health improvements from community engagement.  
By a Southampton filmmaker, co-produced with members of the local community.
To be commissioned – we need to explore whether a £400 would be adequate.  
Clean air survey
Following the first three Clean Air Cafes, which have been well attended, the survey would work to explore more residents’ views about clean air. The idea would be to engage as many of the 1,200 households in St Denys as possible with ideas around cleaner air & potential interventions, such as temporary or permanent road closures, but also signage, murals, greenery etc
The idea has been proposed by local residents under the bursary scheme, but this could be funded as part of the wider Breathing Spaces project.  
Street Closures
Fund further support for Play Streets/Street Party road closures (following closure of parts of Priory Road on 20 July) e.g. flyers, decorations, equipment, food.  
Proposed allocation of £400.  
Creative clean air signage/slogans/mosaics Commission a local artist to undertake some public art or signage. One idea is a “Mr Gasp” mosaic by Will Rosie, to add to his Mr Men mosaics across the city.   There has also been suggestions of making the national cycle route through St Denys more visible.   Possible to achieve something within £400 budget, but this has not yet been fully explored/costed.   This could be subject to more conversation through the project.  
Engaging with the local school Commission an artist to do some air quality engagement; or create a leaflet for parents on air pollution & health Proposed allocation of £400.  

Other key ideas not for a bursary due to their scope:

  • Blocking off the top of Kent Road to stop rat running
  • Policy development proposals
  • Improving public transport, in particular bus travel

Header photo by Daniel Funes Fuentes on Unsplash

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