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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Coeliac UK currently campaigning for?

Coeliac UK is campaigning on a range of issues that affect those with coeliac disease. These range from issues around improving diagnosis rates through to getting more gluten-free substitute food into stores.

We are campaigning on the issues most important to our Members and our community. These issues include improving diagnosis, keeping gluten-free prescriptions within the NHS, creating more choice for people with coeliac disease through better provision in shops and restaurants.

How can I get Coeliac UK to campaign for me?

We are always on the lookout for ways that we can improve the lives of those with coeliac disease and DH. If you think there is something we could be campaigning on, get in touch with us.

How can I become involved in campaigns?

Anyone can get involved in campaigning and it is easier than you think. By writing a letter to your MP or signing a petition, you could be making an essential contribution to a campaign. Have a look at our campaign pages and check out the latest action we need help with.

How long does a campaign run for?

We run campaigns for as long as they are needed to achieve their goals.

How does your work influence decisions that affect people with coeliac disease?

We are often consulted on areas of concern for people with coeliac disease and DH. This includes working with the Food Standards Agency, Department of Health and National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

Who decides what the campaigns are on?

We survey our Members every year to find out their key concerns.  With this, as well as our strategy on the world we would like to see for people with coeliac disease, we are well placed to design campaigns that will help us deliver the changed landscape our Members want to see.

What is the Health campaign?

The medical profession has so far, under recognised coeliac disease. It is not routinely tested for at the moment, and we are campaigning to change this. We would like to see coeliac disease better recognised by the medical profession so that people with symptoms of the condition are picked up more quickly and diagnosis improves. By talking to healthcare professionals about coeliac disease and the problems you face, we hope to improve the situation. We are currently carrying out a Diagnosis Survey to help us with this campaign, as well as running a petition to ask the government to improve diagnosis of coeliac disease. We are also working with healthcare bodies to improve GPs’ knowledge of the condition. We have already made progress with this campaign as we saw NICE publish guidelines on the diagnosis of coeliac disease in May 2009. This was a direct result of a campaign we ran in 2006, and proves that whilst campaigning can be a slow process, it does work.

What is the Product campaign?

We would like to see better availability of gluten-free food in supermarkets and on prescription. There have recently been developments in this sphere as the international standard on gluten-free food has changed. We have been campaigning to make sure that the change to the standard is a positive change for people with coeliac disease. We work with manufacturers and industry leaders, such as the British Retail Consortium, to ensure that we can find a path which works for industry leaders, as well as people with coeliac disease.

What is the Eating Out campaign?

This campaign focuses on the food service sector, so those who provide food in restaurants and eateries around the country. We want to make eating out easier for people with coeliac disease, which means access to safe gluten-free options that are clearly marked on menus. We have been working with this sector and raising awareness through our Gluten-free Chef of the Year competition, to get chefs and catering college students to plan gluten-free menus. We’ve also worked with industry specialists and created education tools to work with the sector in getting gluten-free dishes onto menus.

What is Awareness Week?

This is our busiest campaigning time where Local Voluntary Support Groups around the country host events which feed into a national picture of campaigning. This translates to people holding events focused around a particular theme, as well as, amongst other activities, writing to their MPs, speaking to the media and fundraising for us. Usually Awareness Week is in May, and lasts from Monday to Sunday.