Food allergy support group opens in Stoke Newington

A food allergy support group, thought to be the first of its kind, will open in Stoke Newington at the end of the month.

It will bring together parents whose children have food allergies for advice and to share tips.

It is set up by child health experts from the allergy clinic at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, who plan to run 12 meetings across London over the next few months.

Five in every 100 children in the UK are affected by food allergies, most commonly to nuts, egg and milk.

Paediatrician Dr Robert Boyle, who helped set up the groups, said: “We’re delighted to be able to set up such a useful resource for parents of children with food allergy.

“Parents of food allergic children can have greater knowledge about some things – such as local places to eat or where to buy ‘free from’ food – than healthcare professionals and may be best placed to advise and inform other parents.”

Stoke Newington mum Alexia Baracaia has a 17-month-old son, Sidney, who suffers from multiple life-threatening food allergies, diagnosed when he was five months old.

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“The support group is a great idea,” she said. “Parents need to talk to each other about how they cope.

“Having a food allergy diagnosed isn’t just a medical issue. It can be a massive emotional shock to a parent and to have a network of support is invaluable.

“The more people who can join together to raise awareness and share their own tips to make life safer and easier for kids with allergy the better.”

The next group will meet in on Saturday June 30 from 3-4.30pm at Bouverie Road, Stoke Newington, N16 0AA. To attend, contact or call allergy nurse Katherine Phillips on 07714 051 210.

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