Tag Archives: What Allergy?

FFEOA 2017

This week has been a busy week for me and, for the first time in very many months, my focus has all been on my blog and the allergy and freefrom community, rather than on my day-to-day job. Much to the disgust of both G and M, I abandoned them to my Mum for the week and headed off to London, on my own,  to the Foodmatters Live conference. My planning for these 3 days away was incredibly well-organised, though I suspect I actually have my Mum to thank for that, as I missed out on attending last year and so had apparently looked ahead 12 months and had put the dates on her calendar to make sure I could go. I had then promptly forgotten all about it until she pressed me to confirm whether the children would be staying with her for the week or not.

My main focus was the Awards ceremony on the first night for this year’s Free From Eating Out Awards (FFEOA 2017). Despite the chaos of our household right now as Mike and I are both trying to find a work-life balance that suits us all, I had been keen to be a part of the Judging team again this year and M and G were just as excited by the possibility of finding some new places to eat that would suit us all. Luckily for us, we were able to find a couple of restaurants that we felt could cater for M in particular and were delighted to put them through their paces and see just how well they could meet their allergy and freefrom promises.

The evening kicked off with a quick overview of the plans going forward for 2018, which included some new categories, a simplified entry process and the promise of a monthly newsletter. They also revealed the new interactive map, which shows all the bronze, silver and gold award winners for the last 3 years and links to the all-important judges’ comments, which can help any discerning freefrom diner decide whether to eat there or not. I think this will be a great addition to the FFEOA offering and certainly will be something I recommend to those I come into contact with in the allergy community.

Despite my best efforts on the night itself, my fingers weren’t quite nimble enough and I just couldn’t keep up with tweeting the impressive number of gold award winners that were announced in each category. For any I didn’t manage to congratulate then, my apologies, but from the sounds of it, each and every award was well-deserved. I must make special mention of the wonderful Cafe Nouveau in Frome that we judged last year, who succeeded in achieving another gold award this year and also the Bangkok Canteen in Gloucester, who also won gold this year. Mike, the children and I visited there as part of this year’s judging stint and a review will follow in due course. For a full list of this year’s winners, please visit the FFEOA website.

As ever the best bit of the evening came after the awards had been announced. I was able to spend some time chatting with a few of the lovely friends I’ve met through the allergy world over the past few years, including Natalie of Intolerant Gourmand, Ryan of Borough 22, Ruth of What Allergy? and the Free From Fairy herself, Vicki. All in all, a wonderful evening and a great start to 3 days of learning more about all aspects of the Freefrom and allergy world.

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Allergy Awareness Week 2016

Life is pretty busy for us at the moment. M’s broken leg is forcing us to slow down a tad, or, at very least, making us accommodate the additional time needed to do even the simplest of tasks. Getting out of the house for school or work or activities takes military precision to organise and at least an extra 10 minutes to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything or left an essential piece of kit – think wheelchair, walking frame, school-bag – behind. National Eosinophil Awareness Week 2016 is fast approaching (May 15th – 21st) and we have all been working hard on presentations, displays and fundraising plans to make it as big a success as we can manage. When you throw the #FFFA16 ceremony, PLACE assessments and fracture clinic appointments into the mix too, its little wonder that I really am running on empty right now.

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As much as I’d love to be blogging about Allergy Awareness Week 2016 this week, a week which happens to coincide with the 25th Anniversary of Allergy UK, I have reluctantly, but sensibly admitted defeat. There’s lots I feel I could say about the misconceptions surrounding allergies and will be looking with particular interest at any blogs or articles published on Thursday, when the focus is on food allergy in particular. So, instead of writing and sharing my own thoughts, I am still going to do my bit and am posting links below to some articles that I think are worth reading on this topic.

Allergy UK: Charity Warns Allergy Sufferers Face Dangerous Misconceptions

The Intolerant Gourmand: Allergy Awareness Week – 2016

What Allergy?: Save hundreds on prescriptions every year!

The Recipe Resource: Allergy Awareness Week and #livinginfear – top tips for teachers

7yearstodiagnosis: Because #livinginfear is not *just* about the allergies

Allergy UK:

FPIES UK: