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Julianne Ponan MBE Launches Nationwide Allergy Education Initiative for Children


Allergy campaigner Julianne Ponan MBE is set to embark on an educational initiative aimed at enlightening thousands of children across the UK about living with allergies for the second consecutive year this April.

Julianne, CEO of the top 14 allergen-free brands Creative Nature, is spearheading the campaign alongside influencer Stephanie Hulme, education specialist Natalie Hopkins from The Allergy Badge, and Jay Dhanjal from Ash Friendly. Together, they will deliver specialist free assemblies in schools nationwide during Allergy Awareness Week, scheduled for 22nd to 28th April. These assemblies have received endorsement from Dr Jose Costa MD, a consultant paediatrician specialising in supporting children with allergies.

Last year, the initiative reached over 100,000 children, and this year, the team aims to surpass that figure by reaching out to more than 250,000 kids. The presentations aim not only to educate children about allergies but also to equip them with knowledge on how to respond to allergic reactions in school settings and ensure the safety of their peers with allergies.

Expressing her enthusiasm for the initiative, Julianne remarked, “I’ve lived with life-threatening allergies all my life, and it made school very difficult for me, so I really do know what it’s like for children to have to manage these sorts of challenges. There is still a huge amount of work to be done when it comes to education and awareness around allergies, so I’m really pleased we’re rolling this out for a second year.”

In the UK, nearly 50% of children have been diagnosed with an allergy, making UK allergy rates among the highest globally. Julianne hopes that as many schools as possible will participate in the free programme to help manage this challenge and educate both students and teachers.

The theme of Allergy Awareness Week 2024 is “childhood food allergies,” highlighting the rising prevalence of food allergies among children in recent years. Alongside asthma, eczema, and hay fever, food allergies constitute the most common allergies among UK children, with severe reactions often triggered by eggs, milk, peanuts, wheat, and soy.

Julianne Ponan, who herself grapples with severe and complex allergies, founded Creative Nature a decade ago to address the challenges faced by those with food allergies. The company produces foods that are entirely safe for individuals allergic to the top 14 allergens.

The educational programme, covering topics such as the use of auto-injectors, empathy towards friends with allergies, safe eating practices, and awareness of allergenic foods, seeks to combat the difficulties faced by children with food allergies.

Allergy Awareness Week 2024, running from 22nd to 28th April, underscores the importance of raising awareness about childhood food allergies amid a significant rise in allergy cases in recent years.