National Burn Awareness Day 2018 – millions of people reached
National Burn Awareness Day is an annual UK campaign to raise awareness of the shocking number of people burned each and every day – the vast majority of which are preventable; and promote good First Aid should a burn or scald occur. National Burn Awareness Day 2018, which took place on 17th October, was an enormous success, reaching millions of people across the UK and beyond.
Here are some of the highlights from this year’s event….
Support from far and wide
At the Children’s Burns Trust we worked extremely hard in the months leading up to National Burn Awareness Day to produce helpful resources that will inspire a huge variety of people to embrace and promote the National Burn Awareness Day, including; hospitals and healthcare professionals, Fire & Rescue Services, children’s centres, child safeguarding agencies, first aid trainers, government and community groups, commerce and industry, burns survivors and individuals.
This year saw an enormous number of teams and groups of people getting involved, with Hospitals and Burns Services around the country holding awareness raising events, both on-site and in their local communities. Many Fire & Rescue Services also participated in local events, and helped spread the message online and in the media.
We were lucky enough to have the support of our fellow charities CAPT, Dan’s Fund for Burns, Electrical Safety First and the Katie Piper Foundation, The National Fire Chiefs Council as well as corporate supporters including Fire Angel, Metro Safety and the newly launched clothing brand Cauz Club, who helped spread the word online.
Real stories, from real families
Nothing brings our work to life more than hearing from real people and real families about their experiences. We welcomed burn survivor Connor Rowntree to the Children’s Burns Trust blog, featuring a Q&A piece about his personal journey, which received over 1000 hits during the week. We also supported the Mason family, who bravely told their story following their 4-year old daughter’s firework accident last year and organised a charity event to raise awareness.
Hundreds of burns survivors took to social media to support the key messages of National Burn Awareness Day by telling their own stories and bravely, brilliantly, showing their scars and why they are proud of how their experiences have made them who they are.
As is the case with any big awareness campaign these days, social media is a vital way of getting key messages heard loud and clear. Before sunrise, our team were thrilled to see so many individuals (including our Patron, Amanda Redman) taking to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get involved by liking and sharing posts, using the hashtag #BeBurnsAware and posting photos of their own activities. By 10am, the event was trending in the UK on Twitter!
One of our social media posts, showing that 13+ toddlers are severely burned every day across the UK, reached more than 81,000 people in a 24-hour period. The official hashtag reached more than 2.1 million people online, that’s double last year’s figures.
New for 2018
We had a number of new initiatives to help boost National Burn Awareness Day 2018, one being the creation of a new poster showing the inspirational individuals we are proud to support as a charity. We reached out to a group of burn survivors, of different ages all across the country, inviting them to share a photo of themselves as a child and another as an adult/older child. The finished poster shows the diversity and personalities behind this amazing group of people all of whom have received varying types and severity of burns.
One of our key initiatives for National Burn Awareness Day is producing a range of multimedia resources that people can use on and around the day, including a toolkit, posters, banners and stickers. This year we invited people who downloaded these from our website to pledge a small amount of money as a thank you. We were delighted that people were happy to support our work in this way, with our ‘Pledge £2’ campaign raising more than £180.
In the press
One of our key aims with National Burn Awareness Day is to reach as many people as possible with our messages of prevention and the importance of good first aid, and press coverage can really help that. With the support of our friends in the burn and healthcare professions and Fire & Rescue Services (as well as the amazing fundraising efforts of one amazing family) we were able to secure press coverage in a number of different newspapers.
In the afternoon our Medical Trustee Ken Dunn (Consultant Burns and Plastic Surgeon and Chair of the BBA Prevention Committee) participated in a radio interview with BBC Lancashire – highlighting the danger of hot liquids and pointing out that a cup of tea can still severely scald a child or elderly person up to 20 minutes after it has been made. At the time of writing, we are also working with BBC Radio Leicester on an interview around the dangers of fire and candles as Bonfire Night and Diwali approach– Watch this space!
“Good luck and thank you for all the great work you are doing for this day”. Clare Thomas Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
‘Thank you for all the support you’ve given me, and for all the amazing work you do! It’s been an honour to do this [fundraising] for you”. Crystal, burn survivor
“Burns awareness day. This is the first time I have ever posted anything about my burn scar as I have not had the confidence to do so, as of many other out there. As I have learnt from many other burn survivors, burns should be talked about and not be ashamed of or covered up. When I was 13 I suffered a 3rd degree burn to my hand. Since then I have had many different types of treatments and operations to improve the look of my scar. Now I see my scar as a part of me and I wouldn’t change anything about it and I will never be able to thank the X children hospital for everything they had done for me. I have met so many amazing people that will be lifelong friends. Please share this so other burn survivors can share their stories and share more awareness “. Burn survivor
Children’s Burns Trust would like to thank EVERYONE who helped us towards achieving this level of awareness in 2018. Work is already underway on plans for National Burn Awareness Day 2019 which will fall on Wednesday 16th October 2019.