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

Thanks to a generous 3-year grant from the Sylvia Adams Trust, we are launching a new FASD prevention project, “Educating Young People about the Risks of Alcohol in Pregnancy” aimed at reaching young adults in the 15- to 25-year old range. We believe this next generation will be the one to change things.

We are launching this campaign in coming weeks via a new prevention-focused website that will include new resources, including an award-winning film by Frogspawn Film. This prevention campaign will be a positive, supportive public campaign targeted at young people, empowering them to spread the word about the importance of alcohol-free pregnancy and promoting healthy pregnancies. The project will include a national competition so that we can learn from and share ideas generated by young people. This project will have a heavy focus on social media. 

The project will kick off at the end of April 2020, We have been invited to be part of a national campaign by a major media personality. Watch this space!

This project also will help develop and amplify the capacity of individuals with FASD, parents, carers and guardians to work with the media. It will help schools and local businesses to raise awareness of the risks of alcohol in pregnancy and increase the profile of FASD more generally. We will provide resources and materials that can be shared with pubs, with schools and with local media. We are establishing an advisory committee of young adults for this project. More soon!  

Seashell Trust/NOFAS-UK Partnership Receives Support from the Department of Health and Social Care

We also are extremely pleased and honoured to announce that the Department of Health has supported our partnership bid with the Seashell Trust for “Resources and Training to Support Children and Young People with FASD”. This partnership between Seashell Trust (with its vast experience in working with children and young people with complex needs) and NOFAS-UK (with its expertise in FASD and its experience in working with FASD stakeholders) is exciting and unique. This is a big project with the following elements:

Best Practices in FASD Training and UK Language Guide 
The project includes working with national experts to develop some standards via a “Best Practices in FASD Training and UK Language Guide”. We will seek stakeholder input on this guide as it develops.

New 1-day and 3-day trainings
The project includes ‘walking the walk’ in implementing those standards in two new training courses Seashell and NOFAS-UK will jointly develop – an introduction to FASD course and a more intensive 3-day course focused on a new “Me and My FASD” toolkit. 

Me and My FASD Toolkit
We are really excited about the “Me and My FASD” toolkit, designed to help young people with FASD understand and own their diagnosis. This toolkit builds on the great success of NOFAS-UK’s “My Brain, Me and FASD” booklet. It will have at its heart peer-to-peer video, audio and printed resources co-created with adults with FASD and young people with FASD. It also will include interactive web-based materials.

Experts Committee
We greatly appreciate the input of the following group of  experts who are advising the Seashell/NOFAS-UK project: Dr Carolyn Blackburn, Education Specialist, Birmingham City University; Jo Buckard, Trainer and NOFAS-UK Consultant, Red Balloon Training; Janet Griffin, member UK/EU Birth Mothers Network-FASD; Dr Cassie Jackson, Psychologist, Centre for FASD; Sharon Jackson, Foster Carer/adoptive parent, Much Laughter: Standing Up for FASD, Trainer; Susan McGrail, Foster Carer/adoptive parent, FASD Greater Manchester; Dr Raja Mukherjee, Psychiatrist, National FASD Clinic; Brian Roberts, Foster Carer/adoptive parent/former Virtual School Head, Field of Enterprise Training; Dr Inyang Takon, Paediatrician, E. Herts NHS. In addition, we will be engaging input from a wider group of experts on various aspects of this project. 

Adults and Young Adults with FASD Advisory Committee
Our project relies on the invaluable guidance of an advisory group of those with FASD, including: Tolka Butcher, Nyrene Cox, Rossi Griffin, Lee Harvey-Heath, Andy Jackson, Rachel Jackson, Claire McFadden. In addition, we are incredibly excited that we will be working with a wider group of individuals with FASD and their families on many phases of this project.

Our E-learning is having an upgrade too

We also are currently revising and updating our online “Introduction to FASD” course. We are creating a cutting-edge course using a state-of-the-art e-learning platform, with special sections specifically targeted for those in England. This course is planned to go live by November 2020 and will be followed by additional second-tier courses and will be regularly reviewed by experts. Bulk licenses will be available.

Together we are stronger

Through all of this work we will be creating opportunities to bring together stakeholders and other experts and consultants in fun and dynamic ways that will allow us to develop new materials and projects in relaxed settings. While the COVID-19 crisis has forced us to creatively approach how we develop these projects, we are confident that we will be able to find innovative ways forward using the incredible available technology.

We are especially excited by the involvement of some amazing consultants on these projects who help magnify our impact, including (but not limited to): Jo Buckard of Red Balloon Training (e-learning, best practices in FASD training and prevention project), Sharon Jackson of Much Laughter: Stand Up for FASD (prevention project, especially the national  competition), Brian Roberts of Field of Enterprise Training (Me and My FASD toolkit), Little Man Project (interactive graphics), CrakerJac (website and logo design), Claire Davison (graphics), Luke Bradford of Frogspawn Film, Flis Kirk of North Herts Inclusive Arts. We also thank Rhiannon Evans-Young of Crest for her invaluable advice on PR and look forward to working with Danielle Saunders (social media strategy), and Libby’s Marketplace. (Apologies if we’ve left anyone off of this list of people collaborating with us on these new projects. It’s all very dynamic, evolving and exciting.)

Above all, people with lived experience are at the heart of all we do.

As always, we will be working cooperatively with FASD UK Alliance sister organisations, several of whom have been closely advising on these projects, including through the planning phases and who are actively engaged in the implementation.  Exciting days ahead! Wish us luck and please do feel free to contact us with any questions or thoughts. We welcome your input and involvement as these projects unfold!