Clean air comics and hedgehog houses: how SHINE HIT and KWMC are connecting Bristol kids with their local environment

Two Healthy Neighbourhood Environments (SHINE) Health Integration Team (HIT) projects to engage Bristol schoolchildren in improving where they live are underway, with help from Knowle West Media Centre.

Clean air comic

Air pollution is the biggest environmental health risk we face. Poor air quality causes heart and lung diseases, is linked to low birth weight and problems with children’s lung development, and may even contribute to mental health issues.

For Clean Air Day 2021, SHINE HIT worked with creative producers at Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) to create a striking comic, with an accompanying online resource for teachers. The project aimed to improve children’s understanding of air pollution in Bristol, build awareness of how it affects our health, and explain the simple actions we can all do to tackle the problem and help to protect the environment and our health.

Download the Clean Air Day resources

The team visited May Park, Glenfrome, Whitehall and Bannerman Road Primary Schools handing out flyers with the comic to KS2 students (aged 8-11), and also attended a community event with Eastside Community Trust to help spread the word.

SHINE and KWMC are looking to engage with more KS2 students and teachers during the autumn. If you have a connection to a Bristol primary school, please contact zoe@kwmc.org.uk

Hedgehog houses

Hedgehog numbers are declining rapidly in Britain: a third of urban hedgehogs have been lost in the last 20 years.

Because hedgehogs love gardens, there are lots of simple things that people living in cities can do to make their patch hog-friendly, including building a hedgehog house.

SHINE HIT and KWMC are running pop-up workshops in the BS4 postcode areas this autumn to help people build hedgehog houses, connect with their neighbours, sign up to the national Hedgehog Street campaign, as well as link up with other BS4 and Bristol-wide wildlife initiatives.

Contact annali.grimes@kwmc.org.uk to find out more.