Members raising awareness in local communities, new resources for schools, plus some fundraising fun all contributed to making this year's Allergy Awareness Week a success.
Many of you took the opportunity to engage with your school, kindy, workplace, community or youth group, church, family and friends and start a conversation around allergies. Every conversation has the potential to make a difference for the next person or family with allergies, so let’s keep these going, Allergy Awareness Week or not.
Our wonderful National Support Network of volunteers worked together to create a great teacher resource of puzzles, games, posters, a colouring-in book, video links and a fun interactive group quiz to use during AAW at their school. The response was tremendous. If your school missed out, please forward this e-Newsletter to your deputy principal or office. These resources are also appropriate for community groups to use.
The evening of entertainment on Saturday 18 May featuring Cindy of Samoa was a great fundraiser for Allergy New Zealand. This was hosted by Bonita and Morris Misilisi and a small army of their friends and supporters in memory of their daughter Edyn Rubena-Misilisi and was a sell-out success! Cindy put on a show that Edyn would have loved, and even Sir Peter Leitch couldn’t resist sneaking out without his doctor’s permission to make the evening a truly memorable one for everyone lucky enough to get a ticket. Edyn is loved. She is missed. She is remembered.
Funds from this evening will be used to make a series of online allergy education videos in different languages to make them accessible to Māori and Pasifika communities.
The media coverage of allergy issues started early in the month with the EpiPen funding debate. Our allergy advisor Penny Jorgensen was interviewed on two TV3 shows on 1 May, Newshub’s The AM Show and 6pm News. The debate continued with mum Rebecca Oliver calling for Pharmac to also consider the quality of life for those with allergies. Read what Penny and Rebecca had to say. Niki Bezzant continued the debate in the New Zealand Herald. The New Zealand Herald also featured a piece on animal hair allergens in classrooms.