A Dartford mum who was inspired to take action against climate change after her newborn baby caught a severe respiratory infection is calling on residents to join her new campaign.

Mandy Garford, 42, recently founded the eco-action group, Dartford Clean Air, in a bid to encourage others to take direct action against air pollution, which she believes to be a very real threat to people living in the borough.

Mrs Garford told News Shopper that her newfound directive to combat climate change comes after a shock health scare when her six-week old son was admitted to hospital with bronchiolitis, a condition linked to areas with higher volumes of air pollution.

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"Our baby had to be put on a ventilator to breathe for him and was rushed to Kings College Hospital to be put on their intensive care ward.

"Thanks to the NHS, our son has fully recovered but the experience has left me determined to make people aware of the direct impacts that pollution can have on our health.

"When it affects you to that point, when you're stood in the hospital ward and you're told your baby can't breathe on its own you just think 'right this is real'.

"The penny drops that actually this (air pollution) is contributing to my child's health," she said.

At the moment, there are four AQMAs (Air Quality Management Areas) within Dartford; the A282 Tunnel Approach; Dartford Town Centre; London Road; and the Bean Interchange.

These are designated areas which have been identified have exceed, or close to exceeding, the national safe level allowed for any particular region.

Mrs Garford says she is deeply concerned for the wellbeing of Dartford residents who may live or work in any of these pollution hotspots.

"Those living in those areas have a serious risk of their health being affected.

"To me this is not an option, people have to realise that this situation is absolutely critical," she said.

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The former Labour candidate for Stone House is now hoping her personal experiences can be used as a driving force behind the Dartford Clean Air campaign and convince others to make small but environmentally positive changes to their daily routines.

"I don't want people to go through what I went through.

"We want people to make a pledge and focus on one small change to make a big difference, to raise awareness in the local community about air pollution.

"Dartford Clean Air is a way of making others aware that pollution is real and to encourage people to take action. Even small actions can help," said Mrs Garford.

The group will be out in force in Dartford Town Centre for National Clean Air day on June 20 .