What's the story? It's been a long journey since winning the Wellcome Trust grant to create the Allergy Adventures® Workshop. But how did it all start? Here are the what's, why's and aims of the workshop, and an insight about the people who helped me along the way.
Why run a workshop on food allergies?
Food allergies affect at least 4-7% of children, and 20% of allergic reactions happen in school.* And because some reactions can be life-threatening, it's essential that teachers and classmates are prepared. In addition, children with food allergies can feel different and isolated, and are sometimes the victims of bullying. *European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI)
It's my aim to promote understanding about food allergies, and to help allergies become just another subject that gets talked about in the classroom.
Then when that starts to happen in every school, children with allergies can get on with just being kids. Knowing that when it comes to food allergies, their friends and teachers have got their back.
This workshop helps schools, teachers and pupils understand what food allergies are, how to prevent allergic reactions, and what to do if a reaction occurs.
The best bit? The workshop is 100% free.
It's a ready-to-use, out of the box no brainer. Just sign up, download the relevant materials and your meticulously planned lesson is in the bag.
The workshop's fun approach to teaching serious messages has been developed to complement the National Curriculum. Therefore, the lesson activities have clear cross-curricular links with key subjects; PSHE, Science, Literature, Design & Technology and Art.
Does the workshop work? Judge for yourself. See the workshop in action below to hear what the children and teachers think.
Top Marks from teachers...
Oscar acceptance speech
OK, I haven't quite won an Oscar (yet!) but I would like to say a huge thank you to these superstars. It's been a tough slog at times, and I couldn't have done any of it without them:
• Wellcome Trust for their
support in funding the workshop
• Dr Adam Fox for his guidance on the materials and belief that I could do it
• Dr Erika Harnik for her eagle eyes and thoroughness going through the completed lessons
• Dr Rebecca Knibb for being instrumental at the start, middle and end!
• Anaphylaxis Campaign for going through the workshop to check that the content was sound (and for their feather fluffing words of support). They have a charity helpline if you ever need them for advice: 01252 542029
• Sainsbury's Free From team for arranging the filming to take place in their Colchester store and to the keen collegues who took part.
...and to the following schools for being lesson testers throughout the development of the workshop - sharing their insights, valuable feedback and for making it such an amazing experience for me:
• Court Lane Junior
• Greenway Primary & Nursery School, Hertfordshire
• Stifford Clays Primary School, Essex
• St Andrews Primary School, Manchester
• Polesden Lacey Infant, Surrey
Special thanks to...
All the mums, health professionals, teachers and friends who shared their feedback and insights while the workshop was being developed. Especially...
• Julia Marriott
• Dr Kristina Skehule
• Kerry Cawte
• Dairy free baby and me
• Mel Fenson
• Laurna Hunter
• Francesca Abbott
• Laurelie Deardon
• Sarah Chapman
• Rachel Botha
• Allergy Mums in Berks - Natalie B, Emma P, Carolyn D
• Mrs Marchant
• Mrs Fogg
• Mr Ngulele
• Mrs Wilson
• Mrs Hanby