On Tuesday 8 October 200 pupils, parents, Old Paulines and Partnership schools attended a sold-out Geography Conference in the Samuel Pepys Theatre on the theme of Urban Pollution.
Organised and hosted by members of the schools Upper Eighth GeogSoc Committee attendees heard from five speakers on a range of issues associated with contemporary urban challenges. The event raised almost £2,000, split between three charities – the Senahasa Trust in Sri Lanka, Beyond Ourselves in Zambia and the NGO WasteAid. Since the launch of the annual conference in 2013, the school’s GeogSoc has helped raise almost £15,000 for good causes.
Speaking on the night the CEO of WasteAid, Mike Webster, discussed the challenges faced by developing countries, but also the great opportunities to turn their waste into sources of profit and transform blighted communities. Meanwhile, Dr Gary Fuller of King’s College London presented vivid data on the challenge posed by air pollution, and warned that almost 10,000 premature deaths a year in London were as a result of exposure to dangerous levels of airborne pollutants, while two Upper Eighth pupils, Lukas Hanson-Puffer and Anton Fedotov, impressed the audience with their plans for developing wearable air pollution monitors to help raise awareness of pollution hot spots. Finally, AJ McConville from Thames21 described the water borne pollution challenges faced by London and highlighted some of the most pressing issues for policy makers, consumers and business to consider in the future.