In 2020, National FASD held a national #WhyRIskIt campaign, designed to help us get ideas from young people 15-25 years old about how to raise awareness of the risks of alcohol in pregnancy. Despite COVID and all the pressures on young people during that time, we received powerful entries from across the UK. Our fantastic group of external judges picked medical student Lakshya Gopal as the winner. Congrats and a big thank you to all who participated! You’re making brighter tomorrows by spreading awareness of the importance of alcohol-free pregnancies. The winner received £500 and another £500 to donate to the charity of their choice. Lakshya’s winning poster will be used to inform a national project for midwives that National FASD is rolling out soon.
Hi, I’m Lakshya, a 2nd year medical student studying at Imperial College London. I decided to enter the Prevent FASD creative competition because being a medical student I am really passionate about preventative medicine within the community. After learning more about FASD through the Prevent FASD website and their video titled RISK which highlighted a lot of key facts about alcohol and pregnancy, I wanted to make something to help the campaign. Before this competition, I was completely unaware as to how alcohol affected pregnancy. Inspired by quotes from people living with FASD and parents caring for children with FASD, I sought to design a poster to capture the attention of anyone thinking about pregnancy and highlight the effects alcohol has. I was confused that after 2 years at medical school I hadn’t come across foetal alcohol spectrum disorder at all, which made me realise there should be a focus on spreading knowledge to people in the general public who would really benefit from this information. I believe expanding the accessibility to knowledge about FASD and the consequences of alcohol in pregnancy will help many babies and families in the future, as well as those currently living with FASD.
I chose to donate my prize money to the Special Care Baby Unit of Great Western Hospital through the Brighter Futures charity. I really wanted to give back to my local hospital and I think it’s really special and very honourable to be able to donate to the care of babies and mothers in this way. I hope this money will help support the amazing work that this unit does and remind the healthcare staff involved what an amazing job they do. I strongly believe babies should be given the best possible start in their lives and parents have the support they need. I appreciate the opportunity to help the hospital in this way and for being able to take part in this competition.
Our special event, “Increasing Awareness of FASD in the Medical Profession” featured #WhyRiskIt winner medical student Lakshya Gopal in conversation with Rev Prof Gina Radford, former Deputy Chief Medical Officer and National FASD Trustee, and Dr Raja Mukherjee of the National FASD Clinic. This video also includes clips of the other #NationalFASDTopPreventers, the #WhyRiskIt finalists who continue to advise National FASD’s prevention project.
We are excited to be teaming up with Much Laughter on this competition. Much Laughter specialises in Charity Comedy Nights, running monthly gigs to raise money for local charities and non-profit organisations with a special focus on raising awareness of FASD. Sharon Jackson, founder, is mum to five adults and young adults with FASD.