The Anaphylaxis Campaign is the only UK charity operating solely for the people at risk from severe allergic reactions www.anaphylaxis.org.uk. We provide information & support to enable people living with anaphylaxis to be more confident and in control of their lives.
The aim of the charity is to create a safe environment for all people with allergies by working with and educating the food industry, schools, pre-schools, colleges, health professionals and other key audiences. As part of what we offer, we provide a National helpline service for anyone wanting advice or support over the phone, over email or via social media. The helpline is open Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm and is made up of in-house specialist advisors who can answer questions and give advice on everything from allergy care to food labelling.
With over 2 million people living with food allergy, we asked our helpline team about the type of questions they receive on a daily basis….
- In your time at the charity have you seen an increase in calls to the helpline? If so, can you estimate the percentage for this this time?
“Yes, the number of enquiries made to the helpline is increasing year on year and so far this year we have received over 2000 calls, emails and social media enquiries. We had a dramatic increase in enquiries between 2016 to 2017 when we extended the helpline to social media messages, which was really well received”.
- Are there any questions that are continually being asked by people that contact you?
“It really depends on the time of the year, we can certainly spot trends. Around festive periods we get lots of questions about free-from products, in the summer there are lots of questions about travelling with an allergy or managing a venom allergy and in September we get a lot of school related questions”.
- Do you find that it is mainly parents calling for information for their children or individuals ring up about their own allergens?
“It is mainly parents and carers who have questions around the management of their child’s allergy, however we do get lot of allergic adults calling us too. Occasionally we receive enquires from teenagers and young adults, however they do tend to connect with us more via social media”.
- The helpline offers support via telephone, email and social media, which channel do you find is most popular?
“The introduction of social media messages created a shift in the way people contact us, especially young people but calls currently remain the most popular form of contact (47%), followed by emails (43%) and then social media messages (10%)”.
- Do you receive questions from outside the UK? If so, how many did you receivelast year and has this increasedfrom previous years?
“In 2018 we received 45 enquires from overseas and in 2017 we received 76 from overseas, so the amount has decreased slightly over the last few years. We find these are mostly people travelling to the UK who are after help, support or advice while they travel”.
If you have an allergy or care for some who does or if you work in education, healthcare or the food industry and need information or support on allergies, you can call, email or message the helpline team by: Phone: 01252 542029 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Or via theFacebook page @Anaphylaxiscampaign
Also, if you are affected emotionally by topics covered in this article you may benefit from counselling from a professional therapist, organisations such as BetterHelp.com will point you in the right direction.