Healthcare: Awareness Campaign Close-up - TV chef supports Coeliac charity

Organisation: Coeliac UK

Campaign: Coeliac Awareness Week

PR team: Fuel PR

Date: 16-22 May

Celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson is backing Coeliac UK's first awareness week as the charity bids to boost awareness of coeliac disease. The charity wants to tackle the difficulties found by many coeliacs - who have an intolerance to gluten, found in wheat, barley and rye - in eating out safely. It is launching website, an online guide to gluten-free eating places around the UK.

Media relations activity, such as regional radio interviews, is targeting food service industry and healthcare professionals, plus consumers in general.

Meanwhile, Asda has teamed up with Nutrition Point's 'Dietary Specials' gluten and wheat-free food range to raise funds for Coeliac UK.

Coeliac disease - symptoms of which range from abdominal discomfort and mouth ulcers to weight loss - can be treated by excluding gluten from the diet.

The disease can lead to serious conditions such as infertility and intestinal cancer if ignored.

Coeliac UK supports more than 90 volunteer groups around the country.

Each group has been given a 'template information pack' to help promote local activities, such as dinner parties.

Fuel PR is promoting the campaign, which was previously confined to one day.

The charity teamed up with the Royal Society of Medicine to host a conference last week.

For more information contact Coeliac UK commercial manager and deputy CEO Julie Legge on 01494 437278.

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