Today, Tuesday 20th July 2021 marks 30 years since the UK Medical Research Council’s funded research was published, showing that supplementing the diets of women before, and during, the early stages of pregnancy with folic acid substantially reduced the chance of that pregnancy being affected by Neural Tube Defects (NTDs), such as spina bifida and anencephaly.
Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus (SBH) Scotland have long lobbied for the fortification of flour with folic acid and on this, the 30th anniversary of crucial research being published, we, alongside Shine, the spina bifida and hydrocephalus charity that works across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, have written to Ministers across the UK asking when an announcement on the 2019 UK Government consultation will be given.
Since the publication of this report in 1991, there have been ongoing recommendations for mandatory fortification of appropriate staple foodstuffs with folic acid. The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), has repeatedly recommended fortification of flour with folic acid. In 2017 Food Standards Scotland advised that fortification should be undertaken with a joint approach across the UK and following this a joint letter was sent from the Scottish and Welsh governments to the then UK Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, urging him to take action and introduce mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid on a UK wide basis.
A UK- Government consultation on mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid concluded in September 2019 and an announcement on the outcome has yet to be made.
The on-going delay in introducing this measure has led, and will continue to lead, to stillbirths, neonatal deaths, disability and avoidable terminations of pregnancy, as well as thousands of individuals facing a lifetime of complex and severe, yet avoidable, health and lifestyle challenges (which also incurs a massive financial implication on the already burdened NHS resources).
From September onwards, after parliamentary recess, SBH Scotland and SHINE will be supported by UK and Ireland’s medical royal colleges, doctors and medical students, dieticians and people whose lives have been affected by spina bifida and anencephaly in attempting to push this up the political agenda and would welcome any support you can give us in sharing our message across our social media channels.
The need for government action is long overdue. The continuous occurrence of preventable birth defects is a tragedy that should no longer be tolerated.
For further information or to discuss involvement in the fortification campaign please contact Clare Cogan Turner, Communications Manager via EMAIL
Find out more about our campaign to date.
SBH Scotland will receive a share of almost £1.2 million funding from the ScottishPower Foundation, which supports incredible projects that make a positive impact on people and communities across the country.
This year’s Foundation-funded projects – which support art and culture, education and empowerment, citizenship and society, and biodiversity and climate change – were selected on the basis of the significant and lasting contributions they will make to society, while enhancing people’s quality of life.
Almost £9.2 million has been awarded to successful charities since the Foundation was established in 2013.
Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland’s ‘Tools for Transition’ programme will provide support, advice and advocacy to children aged 0-18 with spina bifida hydrocephalus facing the transition from nursery to primary and primary to secondary school thanks to its £38,419 funding. A bespoke programme of support will be delivered including school talks, continence support, and finance and benefits advice for parents to ensure that children with spina bifida/hydrocephalus have the best possible start in life.
Melanie Hill, Executive Officer and Trustee at the ScottishPower Foundation, said: “Once again, we were overwhelmed by the extraordinary work being delivered in our communities – day in and day out – and we’re very proud to support this year’s charities. The ScottishPower Foundation is committed to supporting projects that make a hugely positive impact on people’s lives and that’s what these organisations do in abundance.
“From improving education to promoting environmental protection and enhancing lives, the charities we’re supporting this year are doing truly transformative work.
“We know that throughout these challenging times, people are relying on the support of charities more than ever before, and with the help of the ScottishPower Foundation, this year’s projects can go further and make a difference for more people.”
Deborah Roe, Director of Fundraising at Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland, said: “SBH Scotland is delighted to receive a grant from the ScottishPower Foundation to provide education support, advice and advocacy to children and young people with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus. Children and young people facing the transition from nursery to primary and secondary school will be offered a bespoke programme of support including school talks, continence support and finance & benefits advice for parents; ensuring that children have the best possible start in life.
“Lockdown has been an extremely challenging period for the families we support, with schools and respite services remaining closed until recently. We are extremely grateful to the ScottishPower Foundation, whose support will allow us to provide life-changing education support services across Scotland. Thank you!”
The ScottishPower Foundation was established in 2013 to make a significant and lasting contribution to society, enhancing the lives of people living in communities throughout the UK. It provides funding to help support the advancement of education, environmental protection, arts and culture and citizenship. It also supports charities who aim to provide relief from poverty, disability, or other disadvantages.
Find out more at scottishpowerfoundation.com.
Find out more about SBH Scotland HERE.
It's been a long time but the team at SBH Scotland are happy to announce dates for their annual Golf and Lunch events, both taking place in October 2021!
Last year had a devastating impact on SBH Scotland’s annual income and we hope to raise £30K through our Golf Day and We Love Lunch events in 2021 to help continue lifeline support including services co-ordinating check-ins, online groups, essential food, heating, personal care, housing and benefits developed for members during lockdown in order to reduce isolation and support better mental health and wellbeing.
To celebrate the return of our Corporate Golf Day we’ve chosen the prestigious PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles to host our annual event sponsored this year by the amazing teams at fatBuzz and VSN Sport. Created by 18-time major winner, Jack Nicklaus, this modern masterpiece of a course played host to the heart stopping excitement of both the Ryder and Solheim Cups. Now comes your chance to follow in the footsteps of champions and join us for a spectacular day of golf with colleagues or clients.
The day itself starts with breakfast rolls followed by 18 holes of golf in a Stableford format, a shotgun start, two on-course games, two course dinner with prize presentation, raffle and mini auction all hosted by ex-footballer, pundit and author, Des McKeown.
We've changed the name of our annual lunch but it's back!!! We're putting the heart back into live events with 'We ♥ Lunch'.
Edward Reid will be hosting and performing as well as welcoming a host of guests including Barbra La Bush and Abba A Rival. This is the unmissable lunch of 2021 - With oodles of fun, food, fizz, friends, prizes and disco as well as being deliciously entertaining; you DO NOT want to miss it!
Specialist charity, Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland (SBH Scotland) is joining forces with international superstar Fran Healy, as well as Scottish comedians Janey Godley and Fred MacAulay to host the world’s biggest virtual Burns supper for FREE on Monday 25th January at 7pm.
The charity is working with partners across the globe to bring the virtual experience to as many people as possible. The world’s largest ever ‘in person’ Burns supper had 900 guests, and SBH Scotland hope that through the power of digital technology they will reach many more.
Although online, viewers can expect all the trimmings of a traditional Burns evening. The Address to a Haggis will feature alongside the main tribute to Burns, the Immortal Memory, recited by Comedian Bruce Fummey. Funny-man, and host of the event, Fred MacAulay, delivers the Toast to the Lassies as Janey Godley, who became a social media sensation after creating parody videos of Nicola Sturgeon during lockdown, will then give the reply.
Janey Godley said: “Scotland might be back in lockdown, but that shouldn’t stop us from celebrating the life of one of our greatest ever treasures. We have some fantastic acts lined up who will be bringing some much needed cheer during these difficult times, all while raising vital funds for a very important cause.
“The event is free to attend and I am looking forward to joining my fellow Scots around the globe for what we hope will be the world’s biggest Burns Supper.”
Travis front-man Fran Healy will perform Auld Lang Syne, while Scotland’s foremost Robert Burns re-enactor, Christopher Tait, will recite Tam o’Shanter. Other famous faces have also sent in their own Burns contributions!
The virtual event, which has only been made possible through the support of Scottish businesses Grant’s Haggis, Endura Cycle Apparel and Chisholm Hunter, is free to attend, with donations encouraged through the silent auction and raffle. The event is also supported by EventScotland through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund.
Deborah Roe, SBH Scotland Director of Fundraising said: “2020 was a difficult year for everyone, but it was particularly challenging for those already in need. Our organisation, like many others in the third sector, has seen a significant drop in fundraising. We need support now more than ever and hope that this exciting new event will help raise vital funds for our charity.”
SBH Scotland’s 2021 Burns event will go live at 7pm on Monday 25 January 2021 on its YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/ScottishSpinaBifida and Facebook channel www.facebook.com/SBHScotland/ The pre-recorded programme will also be available to view for one week.
Register NOW for your 'on the day' reminder and your event link.
Visit www.sbhscotland.org.uk/burns for information and updates on how you can get involved.
We are delighted to announce that from a shortlist of exceptional organisations, SBH Scotland has been awarded the Scottish Power Foundation's 'Education Award' as part of their annual awards. Winners in each category receive an additional £5,000 funding boost, with runners-up receiving £2,500.
Scottish Power said, "The judges recognised its [SBH Scotland] brilliant work to help children with spina bifida to be fully included in the learning experience! 👏👏🙌"
"The judges recognised the charity’s work to support each child individually and to tailor its support to their bespoke needs. For example, it worked with partner organisations to ensure one child who required crutches to get around was able to fully participate in sporting activities at his school".
SBH Scotland was also praised for our work celebrating what makes our children unique and ensuring they all have the best possible start in life.
In addition, our member and fundraiser Lucy Abbeels received the Runner Up award for 'Charity Champion of the Year' for her consistent commitment to raising funds and awareness for our charity. Congratulations Lucy and thank you for your support.