What’s it like to volunteer?

Volunteering for the Idling Action project made me feel as if I was doing something positive about the problem of poor air quality in my area of the City. With an issue that needs action at a government level to properly resolve, one can feel powerless, but [this] project did make a real difference locally and that was satisfying. It was good to meet other volunteer residents and City workers who also wanted to do something positive and it was an enjoyable way to spend a morning. The distinctive blue tabards prompted passers-by to ask questions and raised awareness of the issue and what the City was doing about it. The response from drivers was generally very positive and it was also good to thank drivers who were not idling – rewarding good behaviour!Sarah, an Air Quality Champion for City of London

Sarah, an Air Quality Champion volunteer

Get involved

To get involved in Idling Action activities in London, please fill out this volunteer form.

You can find details of forthcoming activities and training on our action events page.

The opportunity

This is a fantastic chance to learn valuable behaviour change skills and help to improve air quality across London. We will provide you with:

  • Information about the effect of air pollution on public health
  • Idling myth-busting facts so you can talk to drivers with confidence
  • Knowledge of existing enforcement powers in your borough
  • Hints and tips on how to approach people and be persuasive in a short time period
  • The opportunity to work alongside other local Air Quality Champions – concerned citizens, local business employees and project staff

The format of an idling action event

A typical idling action event will consist of:

  • A briefing by project staff
    • This covers air quality and idling issues and health and safety guidance
  • Distributing volunteer packs – Hi-vis tabards, clipboards with maps and monitoring forms
  • Around 90 minutes engaging drivers in an agreed area
    • Volunteers will never have to work alone
  • De-brief and conclusion
    • We will be collecting information about our interactions

Many drivers do not realise that idling is bad for air pollution, and some believe common ‘idling myths’. Our volunteers invite drivers to become part of our campaign and improve local air quality by switching off their engines. Our friendly, informative and non-judgemental approach has a 75% success rate.