Peterborough mum's campaign to make schools allergy safe to be recognised by Government after son (5) died
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Helen Blythe was left devastated when Benedict died in December 2021 after suffering an allergic reaction while at school.
Benedict, a pupil at Barnack School, had a number of allergies, and suffered an anaphylactic reaction, and despite desperate attempts to save him, he sadly passed away.
However, determined that others should not have the same experience, Helen started a campaign to introduce new measures to improve safety around allergies at schools.
A petition was set up by Helen, calling for a number of changes to be made at schools, including for it to be made mandatory for all schools to have an allergy policy.
After just two weeks, the petition has gathered more than 10,500 signatures – meaning it will have a response from the Government.
Helen said she was delighted with the response the petition has had.
She said: “We are delighted at how quickly we’ve reached the 10,000 signatures needed for a government response to our campaign. It goes to show how strong public feeling is that more should be done to protect pupils in school with allergies. We were hopeful we’d reach the threshold of ten thousand signatures, but not in only two weeks!”
Despite the petition’s early success, Helen is still appealing for people to back the campaign.
She said: “Benedict loved school, and living with allergies was a huge part of his and our life. He demonstrated kindness in his friendships, and it’s important his legacy is also about being kind and supporting others. What we’ve been through, and the loss of our beloved Benedict, is devastating. Finding some good in sharing our knowledge of how quickly allergic reactions can happen so that schools can be prepared and children can be kept safe feels like an important part of honouring his memory.
"We know that there’s been huge support from the local community, and we ask that they continue to sign and share the petition until it closes in September.
“We’d also urge people to contact their MP using the letter template and contact details found on our website at www.benedictblythe.com/protect-pupils-with-allergies . We need the support of MPs to carry our campaign forward and secure new legislation.”
Following his death, Benedict’s family started the Benedict Blythe Foundation to raise awareness of allergies, and to help schools deal with the challenges they face. The foundation has also raised cash for projects in Benedict’s name.