Peterborough mum's campaign for allergy safety at schools after boy, 5, dies from allergic reaction

  • Stuart Leithes spoke to a mum who is campaigning for new laws after her son died from an allergic reaction that began at school.

A mum who lost her five-year-old son after he had an allergic reaction is fighting to make allergy policies mandatory at schools.

Helen Blythe, from Peterborough, was left devastated when Benedict died in December 2021.

He had opened the first window of his advent calendar and headed off to school excited about Christmas. A few hours later, Barnack School called to say he had had a severe allergic reaction.

Benedict, who was allergic to a range of foods, died later that day.

Benedict Blythe had a range of food allergies. Credit: Helen Blythe

Ms Blythe said: "It's been devastating. It's taken over every part of our life and the loss of him is huge and often unbearable."

Determined that others should not have to suffer like her, she has set up a petition calling for new measures to improve allergy safety in schools.

It has received more than 10,000 signatures - meaning it will have a response from Parliament.

She is calling for allergy policies to be mandatory at schools, an anaphylaxis plan for each child, training for staff, and for all schools to hold spare adrenaline pens.

Benedict Blythe died from an allergic reaction at school. Credit: Helen Blythe

Ms Blythe said: “Benedict loved school, and living with allergies was a huge part of his and our life. He demonstrated kindness in his friendships, and it’s important his legacy is also about being kind and supporting others.

"What we’ve been through, and the loss of our beloved Benedict, is devastating.

"Finding some good in sharing our knowledge of how quickly allergic reactions can happen so that schools can be prepared and children can be kept safe feels like an important part of honouring his memory."

She is calling for supporters to sign the petition until it closes in September and urged people to write to their MP.

Benedict's family has also started the Benedict Blythe Foundation to raise awareness of allergies and help schools deal with the challenges they face.

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