Author Archives: Sandy

National Poll of Young Adults

New Poll Shows One Quarter of Young Adults Unaware that 
UK Guidance is to Avoid Alcohol in Pregnancy

The National Organisation for FASD has launched a campaign targeted at young adults.

4 June 2020

In April-May 2020 NOFAS-UK (now the National Organisation for FASD) engaged OnePoll to conduct two surveys to test awareness of the risks of alcohol in pregnancy and to see if the general population knows the national scientific guidance. 

OnePoll polled 2000 18-25 year olds across the UK. The results showed that:

  • 26% could not identify the current Chief Medical Officers’ guidance that the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all if pregnant or if you could become pregnant.
  • 80% said if they or a loved one (e.g. a sister or friend) were pregnant, that having the occasional drink of alcohol would not be ok. However, their understanding of WHY this is important is limited.
  • Only 17% understood that alcohol can cause the most long-term harm to the baby when compared with other substances such as heroin, crack cocaine and smoking.
  • Only 22% knew that the acronym FASD stands for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
  • 49% are getting information about these issues from social media, while only 40% are getting if from a teacher and only 36% from a doctor, midwife or nurse.
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Joanna Buckard, Specialist Projects Coordinator

Joanna Buckard is a specialist FASD trainer and Health and Social Care Lecturer and has been working within the FASD field for 16 years and within the health, social and education sector for 25 years. She founded Red Balloon Training in 2008 to deliver specialist FASD training and consultancy to health, social care and education professionals and has delivered bespoke training and consultancy throughout the UK and Channel Islands. Joanna has been consulting on National FASD projects over the last 13 years including speaking at conferences, delivering training, writing FASD booklets for Midwives and GPs. She has taken part in and consulted on a National FASD film and the awareness raising Pregnant Pause events.  Joanna has presented research on FASD nationally and internationally and has also spoken in parliament as part of the APPG on FASD. She has been on the steering group for an FASD parenting course.  Joanna has delivered all the training for the Preventing alcohol exposed pregnancies project for GMHSCP. Joanna was interviewed about FASD on Sky news and has also written a book chapter due to be published later in the year.

This item can be found on page:   Staff

Calling all young people with FASD in the UK

Please help us create 2 new songs about FASD!

Please watch this video ↑ where Flis explains how you can help.

Send us your ideas!!

We are creating two new songs by and for young people with FASD in the UK.

This is the first part of the project. We are asking young people with FASD to please send us some lyrics:

• What makes you special?

• What are your favourite coping strategies?

• What do you want people to know about living with FASD?

Please email them to

You can send them to us any way that you like – a video, audio, a drawing, a poem, etc. Flis will collect all these ideas and use them to write the songs. Next, after we have all the lyrics, Flis will be back in touch for more help singing and performing the music and the songs.

This project is funded by the Department of Health grant to the Seashell Trust/NOFAS-UK and the songs will be part of a new “Me and My FASD” toolkit that will be made available to all in the UK free of charge. By emailing us you are providing NOFAS-UK (The National Organisation for FASD) permission to use these entries in its materials and social media. Responsible adults/parents/carers – please include your young person’s first name and age if you would like that listed in the credits.

We are SO excited about this project and can’t wait to hear what the young people have to say!!We’re thrilled to be teamed up with the Seashell Trust for this project!


We are excited to announce the launch of our new prevention campaign at Please click through and have a look.

This campaign is for people under 25, the ones who can toss aside all the old excuses and inaction. It’s time for fresh perspectives and change. Have a look around, follow our new social media channels.

This project is designed at its core to seek creativity and new ideas! This is the start of a 3-year project funded by the Sylvia Adams Trust. it features the award-winning film, RISK.

Announcing new projects and our upcoming name change

NOFAS-UK is delighted to announce some new projects that we are launching in addition to our ongoing work.

Name change

NOFAS-UK will be changing its name to the National Organisation for FASD. This reflects a national shift in thinking. FASD is finally being recognised by the Department of Health and NICE as a spectrum that has less to do with what a person’s face looks like and more to do with how alcohol exposure in the womb impacts how the brain and body develops. Over coming weeks and months we will be rebranding and updating our website with a fresh new look.

We’re launching a public outreach campaign aimed at young adults

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Diary of a deaf mom and 10-year old with neurodevelopmental delay and sensory needs

Day 9 of #TheGreatBigLockdown #Coronavirus #FASD

Today was the third day in a row the 10-year old followed me constantly around the house. He wanted to know what I was doing even though he could see what I was doing. He wanted to know instantly if I shuffled my seating position on the sofa, where I was going.

If I left the room he followed asking me if I was going to the toilet, every single time.

I understand a decent amount why he’s acting super clingy and unsure, I understand in these strange unstructured times that his brain is losing sense of where he is in the present, that he’s regressing to repetitive actions hoping he’ll get an answer that makes sense to him, a lot of his questions don’t have an answer. He’s in a Catch 22 situation.

Because I understand this, I have adjusted my responses, my actions and my patience accordingly. I am his rock, his anchor, his trust that he will be ok.

But it is now day NINE……..

I shouted this morning.  

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What You Can Do About Coronavirus – a guide for those with FASD

People with FASD and their families can take some steps to help prepare for coronavirus. NOFAS-UK has prepared a summary of Public Health England’s “Coronavirus (COVID-19) – 5 things you can do to protect yourself and your community”. We have made it more accessible and included some bits specifically for those with FASD (or other neurodevelopmental conditions)

A PDF of this 6-page summary is available here. Pages 1 and 4 might be useful to print, especially for younger people.

There is a great video about hand washing by the Purple All Stars from Hertfordshire that you might want to share with your kids.

Draft NICE Quality Standard on FASD

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released the draft Quality Standard on FASD for public consultation. NICE Quality Standards identify areas for health care improvement. This a potentially transformative change in England, signalling a new seriousness of purpose to address FASD.

Here is a summary of the draft NICE Quality Standard – a PDF of this summary is available here.

The FASD UK Alliance is seeking input on the draft NICE Quality Standard from stakeholders in England. This will be open until 25 March. Thanks for sharing your views via this link!

This item can be found on page:   Policy