Parliamentarians take on the Gluten-free Challenge
We held a parliamentary reception during Awareness WeekOur main annual campaign which focuses around a theme to raise awareness about coeliac disease.
so we could talk to policy makers and key stakeholders about coeliac diseaseA condition where a person is unable to eat gluten as it makes their body attack itself.
and the challenges you face as you live your lives glutenA protein that is found in the cereals wheat, barley and rye.
The event was very well attended with nearly 100 MPs, interested parties and special guests. Those who came heard from our Ambassadors, Dr Chris Steele MBE and Phil Vickery, as well as Esther Rantzen CBE, who spoke about her daughter’s undiagnosed coeliac disease. We had fantastic feedback from those who attended who felt they learned a lot from the speeches and now better understand the issues around diagnosis and living on a gluten-free diet.
MPs were asked to sign an Early Day Motion in support of the campaign. You can see how many have signed up here.
Assembly Members in Wales support the Gluten-free Challenge
On Wednesday 18 May Coeliac UK set up a stand to raise awareness in the Senedd asking Assembly Members to give their support to the Charity. This was a great opportunity for us to engage with the newly elected Assembly Members.
A third of Assembly Members attended and learned more about the condition, the challenges of eating out gluten-free and the aims of the Charity in Wales. Several also went gluten-free for the day! The stand was manned by Gillian White, Coeliac UK GovernorA person who is on the Board of Governors., and Kate Lewis, a professional lobbyist who is supporting the work of the Charity.
Our sincere thanks to Kirsty Williams, AM for Brecon and Radnorshire, who sponsored the stand.
In addition to the stand, the Senedd canteen and restaurant, catered by Charlton House, also took on the Gluten-free Challenge with enthusiasm, providing gluten-free meals throughout the week. They even held a gluten-free pudding bake off the following week! Our thanks to Deborah and the catering team for their support.
Have you told us what you did for Awareness Week?
We know that lots of you got involved with the Gluten-free Challenge and did your bit to help raise awareness.
We would like to be able to recognise your efforts with a follow up article in Crossed GrainOur magazine which is published three times a year.
magazine, our online photograph gallery and eXG articles. Please do let us know what you did, who you did it with and send us your photos too.
You can complete the form here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure you send us your photos
It’d be great to see what you did during Awareness Week and let others know too.
We have an online photo gallery and we’d like to see you in it! Simply email us photos to email@example.com
You can see the photo gallery so far here.
Tell us what you think!
We would like to hear from you about your thoughts on Awareness Week, the Gluten-free Challenge.
We try to improve every year and your feedback is essential for this. Tell us what you liked, what you didn’t and we’ll try and improve for 2012.
You can complete the form here.
Warners Weekend success
175 guests supported our venture with Warners Hotels and stayed at Littlecote House in Wiltshire to enjoy a special Awareness Week weekend break.
Specially tailored gluten-free menus were available all weekend and a gluten-free afternoon tea party was held to make the most of the lovely summer weather.
We gave an update on Charity activity to over 100 people and it was a great opportunity to meet and raise awareness of coeliac disease. Thank you to Warners for supporting the campaign and thank you to all of you for supporting their efforts.
National Trust for Scotland
The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) supported our Awareness Week campaign for the third consecutive year with tea shops, cafes and restaurants at 19 of their properties across Scotland taking part in the Gluten-free Challenge. They provided a wide range of gluten-free options on their menus for their visitors and displayed information about coeliac disease, the issues faced with diagnosis and eating out with the condition.
We also had press photo calls with chefs from local restaurants at Brodie Castle, Glenfinnan Monument and Kellie Castle which generated some local and regional print media coverage.
Other Awareness Week Activities in Scotland
Our Awareness Week was supported really well in Scotland, including at Carnegie Catering College in Dunfermline, who once again put on a three course gluten-free lunch for over 50 Members from our Forth Valley Local Voluntary Support GroupA local Group where Members of Coeliac UK can meet and they often organise events.
. The Chip Inn in Edinburgh also gave a discount to Members during the Gluten-free Challenge and Rowlands Pharmacy in Aberdeen displayed information about coeliac disease and had gluten-free tasting sessions. Chefs and journalists from all over the country also took on the Gluten-free Challenge for the week and wrote about their experiences.
Awareness Week media
The media really got their teeth into the Gluten-free Challenge and we have seen so much coverage recently. There is too much to list it all, so here are some of the highlights.
BBC Radio Wales started Awareness Week with a half hour feature on coeliac disease. Many thanks to our case studyA person who offers their story to the media as a real example of living with coeliac disease.
and we had some excellent feedback after the show which received a number of calls.
Our Chief Executive Sarah Sleet was interviewed about coeliac disease on BBC Radio 5 Live and a further interview with a case study featured again on BBC 5 Live later that day.
There were also a number of radio interviews with Members that went out during the week on BBC Radio Newcastle, BBC Radio Cumbria, Panjab Radio and also a detailed and long interview on BBC Radio Somerset which can now be listened to on our website here.
On the Sunday before Awareness Week the Mail on Sunday’s You Magazine mentioned Awareness Week in an item naming Alex Gazzola’s new book about coeliac disease as their Book of the Week this comes only two weeks after You Magazine named Coeliac UK as their Website of the Week as well! Scroll down to the bottom of each page to read the pieces on coeliac disease.
The Daily Mail printed an excellent article about coeliac disease in their health pages and featured a Member’s case study and quotes from Sarah Sleet and Norma McGough from Coeliac UK.
The Independent mentioned coeliac disease and our Awareness Week in the full page feature they wrote about the tennis player Djokovic who is following a gluten-free diet. We are trying to find out if he has been diagnosed with coeliac disease. The article was also featured on the Times of Oman website as well!
A feature on coeliac disease and gluten-free recipes was also included in Your Health Magazine which can be read here on pages 20-23.
A journalist wrote a really good piece about taking up the Gluten-free Challenge and her week on a gluten-free diet which can be read here.
There were also many, many other regional newspapers that featured Awareness Week but are too many to mention each one but here are a few examples which have also been uploaded onto websites:
There were a number of articles about coeliac disease and gluten-free published in a number of magazines including Good Housekeeping June issue, Take a Break, a double page spread in Woman’s Weekly and also a superb piece in Waitrose Weekend newspaper, to name just a few.
Trade publications also ran features in their magazines and on their websites including a double page spread in Dietetics Today, and information on the websites of: Eat Out, Morning Advertiser and Big Hospitality.
ITV’s This Morning saw our Food Ambassador Phil Vickery mention Awareness Week the Gluten-free Challenge twice during the week and he also cooked a delicious gluten-free dish.
ITV’s Lorraine Show mentioned Awareness Week and added a gluten-free recipe to their website.
Earlier in May there were also mentions of coeliac disease on The Wright Show and the Vanessa Show both on Channel 5. These looked at allergies and both programmes highlighted that coeliac disease is a serious condition and not a faddy diet.
Dr Chris Steele MBE, Coeliac UK’s Health Ambassador was interviewed by WebMD website (with Boots the Chemist) and his interview can be viewed here. He also wrote a great article in his new newsletter about coeliac disease which you can sign up for here.
A number of bloggers wrote about Awareness Week and their own experiences of taking on the Gluten-free Challenge. Below are links to a few of these: