Coeliac UK, the largest independent charity for people who need to live gluten free, is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and two members of the charity from Oxfordshire are holding a special gluten free tea dance in Ascott-under-Wychwood on Sunday 20 May 2018.
The tea dance which is being held during Coeliac UK’s Awareness Week will take place from 2.30pm – 5.30pm at Tiddy Hall (OX7 6AG,) in celebration of the charity’s 50th Anniversary. It is free to attend the tea dance with donations going to Coeliac UK. Anyone of any ability is welcome and there will be a combination of ballroom, latin and modern sequence dances.
Organisers, husband and wife Beryl and Geoff Collins have both been diagnosed with coeliac disease, Beryl in 1978 and then Geoff 11 years ago. One in hundred people in the UK have coeliac disease with the prevalence rising to one in ten for close family members. Coeliac disease is a genetically linked condition which runs in families but it is very unusual for a husband and wife to be diagnosed. Both Beryl and Geoff who are in their early 70s, are keen dancers and wanted to organise the event to help raise awareness and also fundraise for the charity.
Coeliac disease is a serious autoimmune condition caused by a reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. People diagnosed with coeliac disease must maintain a strict gluten free diet for the rest of their life if they are to avoid very serious complications such as osteoporosis, infertility and although rare, small bowel cancer.
“We would be delighted for anyone to come along to our event to celebrate the 50th anniversary and enjoy an afternoon of dancing followed by afternoon tea which will of course be gluten free. Places are limited and as we will be doing all the catering ourselves we would appreciate if people contact us on 07739 004158 to confirm their attendance,” explained Mr and Mrs Collins.
Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Coeliac UK said: “50 years ago little was known about coeliac disease and the gluten free diet, bread used to come in a tin and people wrongly thought children would grow out of the autoimmune disease. Fast forward to today and both the disease and the diet are firmly on the worldwide map and 150,000 diagnosed people in the UK now live a better way of life thanks to improved recognition and diagnosis.”
“However, half a million people remain undiagnosed and we need more support to help them get diagnosed and managing their condition with a gluten free diet. But, we also know that there needs to be a more permanent solution to this complex disease so we have just launched our Research Fund appeal to raise £5 million to change the future for people with coeliac disease and gluten related autoimmune conditions,” Ms Sleet said. For more information see: www.coeliac.org.uk/researchfund