Who are the team behind Campaign42AAI? by Iris Jones
First things first. We are not bloggers, we are not journalists, we are not a charity , we are simply 3 mothers whose children have food allergies. This is who we are, how we connected and what the Campaign is about:
The Campaign Facebook page was founded in October 2016 by Angela Waters.
Angela’s oldest daughter was diagnosed with a nut allergy, age 11, she is now 17.
Angela is married to Simon and they have two other daughters age 14 and 12 who thankfully have no allergies.
Angela’s daughter was the driving force behind the many groups Angela runs, with a total of over 8,000 members. She is well known and much respected in the allergy community.
Lack of allergy labeling, blanket labeling , endless struggles to source safe food is Angela’s interest in allergies. That and any form of injustice toward the allergy community
These are the links to the pages run by Angela
The most successful one and the most time consuming for Angela is nutfreeliving food guide
All set up, managed daily and worked on until the wee hours of the morning by Angela and her now super team. All from a passion to protect , inform and lighten the load on those with allergies especially on the holidays such as Halloween , Christmas etc.
Angela heard through the grapevine that the BSACI were in the process of changing guidelines on the prescription of AAI’s.
Something she raised in groups. Many were appalled at the logic behind these guidelines. And in true Angela style, the Campaign for Two AAI was born. Angela was not going to see her daughter , her community face anymore struggles than they already do.
Iris is married to Paul and they have two sons , 15 and 9.
Iris’ youngest son was diagnosed with nut and egg allergies age 1 and has carried epipens ever since.
It was after an oral food challenge that resulted in him going into anaphylactic shock, followed by a biphasic two days later in School. That saw both Iris and her son deal with anxiety , panic attacks , ptsd, that a friend suggested she seek out a support group on Facebook or locally.
There were none locally so Facebook it was.
This was were she connected with Angela and Lindsay. It was on these groups that Iris started to feel supported but sadly she was not the only parent to suffer anxiety nor was her child the only one either. And yet there was no support offered to the majority of families.
Iris has done a lot in her youngest sons school which has helped raise the bar on allergy awareness, inclusion and care. Something she is very proud off.
The day the BSACI guidelines broke, Iris sent Angela a message telling her , “ you were right”.
Within days Angela set up the group and asked Iris and Lindsay if they would come on board as admin.
They had no experience in social media. Had no idea what this would involve. But Iris was driven by the lack of emotional support she found that children , their families or anyone living with allergies received. The psychological impact/ the quality of life is Iris’ interest in the allergy side of things.
Iris did set up Diary of a nutty Mum page. But has recently deleted it, for a variety of reasons.
The most notable reason was the recent loss of her sister to cancer and their conversations about what Iris wanted to achieve and the direction her page could take her.
Much to both her sons disappointment. However Iris’ youngest son does enjoy raising awareness and has done so on the Campaign page with both photos and videos. So he was happy that he can still help out there. Her eldest son is also passionate about supporting all things allergy. He cycled London to Brighton raising £1,200 for The Amy May Trust, two years ago
Lindsay is married to Andy and has two daughters, 8 and 5. Both girls have multiple allergies. And both have had allergies from birth.
Lindsay is the campaign team diplomat and social media technical guru. With the help of her lovely hubby Andy.
She is a drama teacher and both her girls have the acting bug. These two little firecrackers have made several videos for the campaign. Lindsay is passionate about promoting positivity of living with allergies. Showing her girls life is for living, with a little navigating anything can be done. And both the girls are great little role models for their peers.
Lindsay also has her own page, ‘Check your lunchbox’. Which is under development to help with school issues , a website to follow. Lindsay went so far as to walk to school dressed as an egg to raise awareness in schools.
All 3 mothers have become firm friends over the years. And yet only Angela and Iris met a few years ago at an allergy conference.
But they spend many hours messaging / on the phone to each other, more often than not way into the early hours.
They support each other in all areas of their lives, both have been a real support to Iris this year. They are a team throughout the good, the bad and the ugly.
So that is who the Campaign for Two AAI are, 3 mothers with a passion, learning as they go, making mistakes and hopefully helping others along the way.
Helping others diagnosed with life threatening allergies, encouraging all to #alwayscarrytwo , everywhere, everytime. Running competitions which keep our carryingtwo light, fun and educational. Actively empowering young kids so that they grow up seeing others living life and carrying their AAI’s, making it second nature, normalising it
Just as they do with their teen and adult followers. All of whom are part of the team. All helping each other with every picture they send us, every positive story they share with us, they are all building a stronger tomorrow.
Our motto is :
Our lives begin to end
the day we become silent about
Things that matter ..
Martin Luther King,Jr