Last year I heard of a new Scottish charity for supporting families of children with eczema. Eczema Outreach Scotland is based quite near us. It was set up by a mum of a girl with eczema who became frustrated at the lack of support available. Now, about 18 months after the charity was set up they have around 150 families on their books.
We joined last summer and received one of their lovely welcome packs. Younger children are given a cuddly toy along with a little set of some of the bandages that are used for eczema and some moisturiser. The theory is that to encourage the children to put their creams on they can help put them on the teddy too. Alasdair absolutely loved his teddy, and still does about 9 months later. He has called him Scratch and likes to put the bandages on him.
Back in November I was invited to accompany Magali, the founder, as she collected an award for the charity. We had a nice dinner at a hotel and chatted about all our experiences with eczema. A little explanation of what the award was for can be found in the latest charity newsletter here.
One of the things Eczema Outreach do is organise family days out every few months. These are a way for children to meet other children in a similar situation to themselves as well as for parents to support each other.
Last weekend one of these events took place in our town so we all went along.
There was a dance workshop for the children, which our boys politely declined, but they also had the option of joining in with the craft organised for the adults, which they did, and really enjoyed!
The craft was decoupatching boxes and here we all are hard at work. Alasdair was a bit camera shy at this point!
At the end of the day each family had a Polaroid photo taken of them with their boxes so that they had a nice momento to take home with them.
Alasdair was very willing to smile this time, and to show off his box that he had made entirely on his own. That's his box at the front left of the photo below.
It's such a good idea to get together with others who understand what hard work it is living with a child who suffers from eczema (or three of them!). Especially how difficult the constant sleepless nights are!
It's also really helpful to talk to other parents about different creams and medicines, distracting from scratching techniques, how to help your children cope with managing their condition at school etc.
There are a few more photos of the day on the Eczema Outreach website here.
And finally, my husband wrote his own account of living with eczema (he has had it since he was a small boy) on his brand new blog which I have been promising to plug for the last few weeks! You can find this here. Do pop on over and say 'hi' to him or send your other halfs over - Thanks!