Lewisham Council has announced a £2,000 donation towards a memorial for Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, the nine-year-old girl who became the first person in London to have air pollution registered as cause of death.
The money will help fund a pollution-absorbing sculpture to make the invisible threat of air pollution visible, raising awareness of the role air pollution plays in poor health and unnecessary deaths like Ella’s.
Mayor of Lewisham Damien Egan said: “We think this is a great idea – a really special way to remember Ella, as well as an important talking point and way to improve air quality right here in the park.
“I’m delighted to confirm that the council will be contributing £2,000 to the fundraiser.
“I know how generous the people of Lewisham are from previous campaigns, so if they would like to donate to the fundraiser they can at the Foundation’s website.”
Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, Ella’s mum, and an influential air quality campaigner in Lewisham, has been working hard to raise awareness and prompt action to improve air quality.
The memorial will not just raise awareness of air pollution, it will also absorb nitrogen dioxide and use a real-time sensor to measure pollution levels in the park.
Adoo-Kissi-Debrah said: “After the inquest in 2020, when the coroner found that air pollution contributed to Ella’s death, he wrote a report to help prevent any future deaths like Ella’s.
“In it he said how important it was that people became aware of the health impact of air pollution. I believe this statue will help do that. Please give generously and ensure Ella’s death helps others to live.”
People can donate at the Foundation’s Go Fund Me page – www.gofundme.com/f/first-breathe-for-our-future-ancestor