A nurse from Sale is launching a scheme so that the town’s citizens can come together to support children with asthma.
Heather Henry wants her hometown to become the first asthma-friendly town in the UK, and for individuals to become ‘BreathChamps’ by running a series of free one-hour online awareness sessions over 12 months.
In the sessions, Heather uses storytelling to raise awareness of asthma amongst both children and adults – including understanding how to recognise and respond to asthma attacks.
Asthma currently affects 1 in 11 people in the UK, and the UK has among the highest mortality rates of asthma symptoms in children in Europe.
Heather set up her social enterprise BreathChamps to help children, families, and communities to learn about asthma in fun ways.
“My motivation comes from my childhood when I had uncontrollable asthma – it was a very difficult time and I want to change that for other children, so they can live a full childhood,” says Heather.
“Despite the advances in asthma treatments, I recognise that today’s children are still suffering, and childhood asthma is still rocketing.
“My vision is that everywhere a child with asthma goes, people know the basic things to do to keep them well.
“I want people to learn in the session but also have fun, so the training is delivered through telling an adapted version of the Three Little Pigs fairytale – but in my story, the big bad wolf is Piers Morgan!
“Despite all his hot air, he can’t blow the three piggies houses down due to having asthma.
“So, I’m hoping the good people of Sale can show him what to do, and in the process, they will learn how to help children facing breathing difficulties.
“Storytelling really helps you remember important information.”
Heather, whose project is funded by Trafford Housing Trust and Our Sale West, has already worked with children to learn how to help someone with asthma through assemblies in Sale schools and public learning events at Bianco Pizza and Coffee in the town centre.
She is now also offering an accreditation scheme for any organisation in Sale to become ‘Child Asthma-Friendly’.
“Where better to start with this than in my hometown?” said Heather.
“Communities – individuals and organisations – can make a huge difference to the lives of young asthma sufferers in Sale and then we can move on to the next town, cities, and across the country.”
You can book a free online awareness session here.