Raising Awareness of Invisible Illnesses in Schools and Education
1014. Sophie Ainsworth
Sophie Ainsworth, aged 18, from West Bradford, is the founder of ‘Raising Awareness of Invisible Illnesses in Schools and Education’, a project improving the understanding of invisible illnesses in schools.
Following her diagnosis of lupus, and the misunderstanding of her conditions amongst her teacher and peers, Sophie decided to campaign to change these misconceptions. Her project helps young people living with invisible illnesses to develop coping strategies and also shares resources to improve understanding within schools. Sophie also advises the NHS’ Institute for Health Research as one of their ambassadors, ensuring that young patients and their families have a voice in new innovative research.
In a personal letter to Sophie, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Through ‘RAiISE’ you are changing the mindset of the teachers and peers who misunderstood your lupus diagnosis. Your organisation is challenging the misconceptions of invisible illnesses and giving young patients and their families invaluable support.”