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Action Duchenne

Action Duchenne’s Seeds of Hope Appeal set to blossom for the third successive year

National sunflower campaign encourages children to learn about the environment and growing plants while raising awareness and funds for charity Action Duchenne

Action Duchenne is launching its national campaign, the Seeds of Hope Appeal for the third year running. Seeds of Hope is aimed at children between the ages of 3 and 11 years old, with the objective to raise awareness of the life limiting condition Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The appeal, which has been very successful in the last two years with over 3,000 participants last year, will raise funds for the charity, which campaigns to find a cure and viable treatments for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

For a donation of £1 each child receives a pack which contains a range of activities and fund raising ideas, as well as a pack of sunflower seeds with instructions on how to plant and look after their sunflowers. Children are also encouraged to get sponsorship for their sunflowers, with every child raising £10 or more receiving a special Seeds of Hope pencil case. Teachers of each class involved in the project will receive a support pack with ideas and activity sheets for learning in the classroom as well as outdoors in the garden. Worksheets for teachers at Key Stage 1 and 2 give ideas for introducing sunflowers and the Seeds of Hope Appeal into the classroom. They cover planting seeds, watching them grow and learning how they produce more seeds. Ideally the project is run over the summer and autumn terms. Action Duchenne is also giving a series of child friendly talks at schools about the work of the charity.

Designed to both generate funds and stimulate children’s interest in nature and the environment, the project also provides the opportunity for them to engage with their communities outside of school. It includes activities that support the children’s learning – measuring the flowers, counting the seeds, monitoring weather, drawing pictures, recording data and publicising their efforts. The project has been designed to link many subjects of the national curriculum including literacy, numeracy, science, IT and art and design.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a muscle wasting disease that affects boys and very occasionally girls. It affects 1 in 3,500 male births, affects 2,500 people in the UK and 40,000 globally. Action Duchenne is the only national UK charity focused on raising awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The charity aims to find treatments or a cure for Duchenne by funding research and clinical trials, campaigning to make sure that everyone has access to the best standard of medical care, providing up to date support to families living with Duchenne and also to run a specialist education programmes (one of which received National Lottery Award in 2011).

Nick Catlin CEO of Action Duchenne said; “This is a great way for children to appreciate the wonders of nature. They learn about the environment and growing plants, in a fun and interesting way, while helping those less fortunate than themselves.

“As government grants are cut, charities like ours must find ever more ingenious ways to raise the funds needed to continue our critical work in finding viable treatments and a cure for this devastating disease. Despite finding the gene that causes the condition in the 1980s there is still no cure, although scientists say we are tantalizingly close. Action Duchenne is committed to not only finding a cure, but to raising awareness and improving medical care, which can substantially increase both quality of life and life expectancy. Action Duchenne also provides support to families living with Duchenne and educational programmes.”

All proceeds from the campaign will go towards funding medical research – the ‘Seeds of Hope’ for those living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Entrants can register for the competition on the Action Duchenne website from March, (£1 per participant) to receive their individual pack, containing full instructions, a pack of seeds, Action Duchenne stickers and a sponsorship form.

To take part in the Action Duchenne Seeds of Hope campaign, please go to and complete the registration form

New Safeguarding Programmes Launched

EduCare and their safeguarding partner, the NSPCC have launched two new distance learning programmes to complement their extensive safeguarding range.

Child Neglect is a three-module learning programme which is suitable for anyone, in any organisation, who has a basic understanding of child protection. It explores neglect and how it can harm babies, children and young people. It also describes the reasons why children and young people may be neglected and looks at how parental ability and a wide range of different circumstances can all contribute to neglect. Signs and indicators of neglect are given for the key stages of development and finally, the third module focuses on what you should do if you are worried about a child. There is a helpful list to use when seeking advice or making a referral and it concludes with signposts to nation-specific definitions, guidance documents and common assessment frameworks.

Child Sexual Abuse is a four-module programme that is for anyone who works in an organisational setting, including those with responsibility for recruitment. It contains facts about sexual abuse and those who may pose a sexual threat to children. It also gives guidance on how you can create a culture of safety for children within your organisation and there are practical steps to help you promote vigilance amongst staff members. It also contains pointers to good practice in the recruitment and vetting of new staff.

Both programmes cost just £26.00 + VAT for the online version (including questionnaires and downloadable certificates) and £27.50 + VAT for the paper-based format (inc. questionnaires and paper certificates).

For further information or to purchase a programme in either format, please visit For further information about the NSPCC, please visit  .