Introducing Tracey Dunn, our new Education and AllergyWise® Manager

Introducing Tracey Dunn, our new Education and AllergyWise® Manager

  • 22 February 2024
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We’re delighted to welcome Tracey Dunn to the Anaphylaxis UK Team as our Education and AllergyWise® Manager.

Our AllergyWise® training programme offers a wide range of tailored courses for schools, early years settings, out-of-school settings, workplaces and healthcare professionals. And Tracey’s new role as Education and AllergyWise® Manager will see her tailor and develop this training programme even further.

Tracey’s vast experience and knowledge will ensure that our training and education packages help those who live with serious allergies, and those who live and work alongside them, have the knowledge and understanding they need to ensure that the environment is safe, inclusive and welcoming.

Allergy education has been a passion of Tracey’s for many years, and now that she has officially retired from her teaching commitments, we are thrilled to have her fully on board!

But before she gets stuck in to her new role, we grabbed her for a quick chat to find out a bit more about why she wanted to join the Anaphylaxis UK Team…

Welcome to the team Tracey! We’d love to hear a bit more about you in your own words…

I’ve been a teacher for the past 30 years and a Primary Head Teacher for over 15 years. I’ve worked in a range of primary schools, both large and small, with mixed age classes. Most recently I’ve been the Executive Head for 2 schools before retiring at the start of this year.

On a personal note, I am a mum to two allergic teens : one with food allergies and AAIs, the other with grass and pollen allergies currently going through immunotherapy. My food allergic son’s journey through education has not been the easiest or safest and I’ve had to advocate constantly for better awareness, which has not always been easy.

I first came across Anaphylaxis UK back in 2012 desperately searching for support and information when my son had his first severe allergic reaction at 6 years old. I went along to one of their support groups and found it so useful that I ended up becoming one of the support group leaders. I’ve been involved with the charity ever since!

Over the years I have used my knowledge of the education system and experience of navigating school life as a parent to an allergic child to :

  • Work with local councils and school nursing teams to review allergy care and training in schools, as well as creating effective risk assessments.
  • Work with the local CCG and Local Authority to shape allergy management and training in the area.
  • Present at conferences and webinars offering insight in to best practices.
  • Provide school perspective into allergy management and creating numerous resources for schools.

I took on a voluntary Education Ambassador role for Anaphylaxis UK back in 2021 to help raise awareness and create a safer environment for those with allergies in schools. And I’m really excited to get even more involved with my new role as Education and AllergyWise® Manager.

What motivated you to join the team at Anaphylaxis UK?

Having volunteered with Anaphylaxis UK for so many years, I am hugely passionate about improving the quality of life for people living with allergies.

When I was looking at retiring from education, I considered many different options including establishing my own business to raise awareness of allergies in schools. When this position came up, I jumped at the opportunity to join the charity and use my knowledge and skills of teaching and running a school to continue the development of the training and education package that is offered.

I feel privileged to be able to use my insights into both education and allergy awareness to help improve school life for all children.

We know you’re only one week in, but what are you most looking forward to working on at Anaphylaxis UK?

I think the thing I am most looking forward to is being able to use my experience as a parent of children with allergies and of education to bring about increased understanding and awareness of safe, inclusive practice, in schools and for life.  As a qualified teacher and headteacher, I understand the pressures that schools are under and the policies they have to follow. I can’t wait to use this experience to work alongside them to ensure that the information and support they need is relevant, accessible and is clinically accurate and approved by the Anaphylaxis UK clinical and scientific panel of experts in this field.

And finally, Anaphylaxis UK is recognising it’s 30th anniversary this year. A huge amount of progress has been made over the past 30 years to improve the lives of those living with serious allergies, but what progress would you like to see being made over the next 30 years?

Well, the number one thing for me, would be to ensure all children and teachers with allergies are kept safe in all educational establishments and are included in every aspect of school life – with no exceptions or exclusions. I would also love to see AllergyWise® training becoming statutory for all school settings with children and staff having regular training.

Simon Williams, Chief Executive of Anaphylaxis UK said he is delighted to welcome Tracey to the charity:

“AllergyWise® has been a huge success and many tens of thousands of school staff have completed the training and have access to lesson plans, risk assessments and a range of other support from Anaphylaxis UK. We recognise that some schools need more support and so we need to expand our services for schools and beyond.

This is an exciting year for the charity as we extend our services to help people living with a serious allergy and Tracey is a valuable addition to a brilliant team at Anaphylaxis UK.”