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Training schools in asthma

116. Kim Douglas

A Birmingham mother who lost her son to asthma has gone on to change the law so children can access emergency asthma kits in schools.

Kim Douglas, from Great Barr, lost her son George when he was just three years old. Determined not to let other mothers suffer this heartache, she has ensured staff at over 500 schools across the city are fully trained in treating the condition by setting up the George Coller Memorial Fund in 2000. Kim has vowed to do all she can to protect the one million children living with the condition in the UK.

Thanks to Kim’s campaigning all schools will carry emergency asthma kits from 1st October. Kim worked alongside Asthma UK to successfully change the law to allow schools to keep emergency inhaler kits on their premises. This change means that teachers and nurses can choose to hold spare emergency inhalers and provide access to lifesaving medication. Kim is working closely with the Department of Education and Asthma UK to ensure every school has the guidance they need to implement the new measures.

In the last 14 years, the George Coller Memorial Fund has trained and secured ten George Coller Asthma nurses, one asthma physiotherapist, sponsored 27 school nurses to undertake their Asthma diploma and training, spearheaded a number of awareness campaigns, bought vital hospital equipment and provided practical advice and support to families in their own homes.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Kim has worked tirelessly to ensure that children with asthma can access potentially lifesaving medication at their school. She should be incredibly proud of the very real impact her hard work will have. And I am delighted to recognise Kim’s service by making her a Point of Light.”

Kim said:

“It is an absolute privilege to be recognised alongside such fabulous people that have previously won this prestigious award for doing wonderful, outstanding work in their communities. I am so fortunate that I have a great team that is the George Coller Memorial fund and hope that winning this award helps us to keep the plight of asthma on the radar ,the more people that know about Asthma, the better chance we have of living in a world where no one has to die from this debilitating illness”.

Khalid Mahmood MP said:

“Kim Douglas is an extraordinary woman, her dedication and selflessness to the cause of fighting childhood asthma is deeply impressive. I was humbled when I first met her many years ago and my respect for her and the George Coller Memorial Fund has only grown since. There can only be a few people who can have made such a contribution to children in Birmingham and the UK as a whole.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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