MPs debate petition organised by Fulham schoolgirl's bereaved mother
Tanya and her husband Nadim founded the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation
May 29, 2023
The mother of Fulham schoolgirl Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died in July 2016 from an allergic reaction to a Pret baguette, has taken her campaign for the appointment of an allergy tsar to Westminster.
This month, Natasha’s mother Tanya and another bereaved mum, Emma Turay, whose 18 year-old daughter Shante died in similar circumstances, sent an open letter to health secretary Steve Barclay, saying there is now "overwhelming" support for a champion to act for the one in three people in the UK living with allergies.
Following a parliamentary petition organised by the two mothers, MPs debated the proposal on May 15 in Westminster Hall.
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse. Picture: The Ednan-Laperouse family
Afterwards, the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation tweeted @NatashasLegacy: “ On Monday we took our Allergy Tsar campaign to Westminster. MPs spoke passionately in favour of our call for a national lead to champion people living with allergies. We're optimistic that a game-changing moment for the one in three people in the UK with allergies is around the corner."
They also offered special thanks to MPs for offering eloquent contributions to the debate, including Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter. You can view the debate in full on YouTube.
Natasha was 15 and a pupil at Lady Margaret School in Parsons Green when she died from anaphylactic shock after eating a baguette from Pret containing hidden sesame seeds.
Tanya and her husband Nadim founded the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation in her memory, saying their aim is to make allergy history. Since then, they have successfully campaigned for the introduction in 2021 of Natasha's Law, which requires all ingredients and allergens to be listed on food made on-site and pre-packed for direct sale.
Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse with their son Alex
Last year, the foundation was named Breakthrough Charity of the Year in the Third Sector Awards and Tanya and Nadim were honoured with OBEs.
In 2022, the foundation also announced a three-year £2.2million oral immunotherapy clinical trial involving children and young people with milk and peanut allergies. The trial, which is supported by a wide range of food companies and supermarkets, aims to prove that everyday foods, taken carefully according under medical supervision, can be used to treat people living with food allergies.
Lady Margaret School has honoured Natasha’s memory by creating an annual creative writing competition, celebrating one of her biggest strengths at school, and Hammersmith & Fulham Council say the family's work has informed its safety policy after statistics showed a 615% rise in hospital admissions for allergic reactions in the past two decades.
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