Calderdale to lead UK in exploring air quality and respiratory health

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  • The project, run by Calderdale Libraries, will engage the public with research around air pollution and the impact it can have on lung health

Calderdale Libraries are to run a project focusing on ‘clean air’ after the service won a grant of almost £25,000 from the highly competitive Engaging Libraries Programme.

The new initiative aims to engage the public with research around air quality and respiratory health. It will engage the public through interactive workshops around air quality data, leading to the creation of an exhibition, a podcast and a theatre production.

Almost half of all UK library services applied to the Engaging Libraries programme, which is run by the Carnegie UK Trust, Wellcome and the Wolfson Foundation. The scheme brings vital research projects from universities into the heart of local communities, using libraries to encourage and share learning.

Zohrah Zancudi, Calderdale Council’s Director of Public Services, said:

“We are delighted that Calderdale libraries have been chosen to take part in this exciting national project. We plan to use the funding to help build on the role of our libraries as an accessible place to learn and develop, as nurturing talent is a key theme of our Vision2024 for Calderdale. Our libraries team will work with a researcher, other Council teams and the community to encourage local people to find out more about the issue of air quality and health. Participants will get involved with interactive events and activities to help people throughout the community to learn more about this important topic.”

Sarah Davidson, CEO of the Carnegie UK Trust said:

“Engaging Libraries is all about giving people the opportunity to access, use and respond to research. Libraries have a unique position as trusted, safe spaces at the heart of our communities, and this programme is designed to help people explore new ideas and even play a role in influencing research.

“The process will also give university researchers a great opportunity to make connections between their ideas, research findings and the knowledge and experiences of local communities. We are really looking forward to working with all the winning projects.”

Simon Chaplin, Director of Culture & Society, Wellcome said:

“We are delighted to be supporting a second phase of Engaging Libraries with the Wolfson Foundation and Carnegie UK Trust. We saw a strong demand from the library sector in how they could connect together people’s ideas and interests to research, we hope that this helps stimulate new partnerships and ideas and changes the way libraries can develop their social innovation role.”

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said:

“We are delighted to be working in such fruitful partnership with Carnegie and Wellcome. These are important and intriguing projects, with a wonderful regional spread and tackling some complex, challenging, crucial issues for society. We also hope that these projects will act as exemplars for how public libraries and research institutions can work together.”

The 14 projects selected to be part of Engaging Libraries will undertake a development period of up to 6 months, supported by the Engaging Libraries team and a bespoke programme of events and workshops to further develop and refine their project ideas before launching their

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