The Dragon In My Skin - spearheaded by Professor Fiona Cowdell and her Eczema Mindlines research project - encompasses a new children's book, animation, song and teacher pack, all designed to help improve teaching around eczema.
Eczema Mindlines is committed to improving the treatment and management of the skin condition, which affects around 20% of children in the UK.
Through a programme of research and co-creation work with children living with eczema, healthcare professionals and other interested groups, Fiona developed five key messages about eczema treatment and self-care for children, to share widely in an easy-to-understand, attractive and accessible format.
Writer Hazel Gould and illustrator Jay Nolan-Latchford adapted these key messages about eczema care into words and pictures, which evolved into The Dragon in My Skin story. The mythical creature at its centre acts as a metaphor for the condition with the moral of the tale being that rather than fighting the ‘dragon’ living within their skin and making it angry, children should try to tame the beast, become its friend and so live a happier life.
To share the messages further children with eczema and their families joined a series of online workshops with writer Hazel Gould, songwriter Abimaro Gunnell and the Sinfonia Viva creative team to compose a series of songs based on their own experiences of the condition and the dragon story which they have recorded alongside professional players from the orchestra. The animated film has been created by artists Darius Powell and Abbie Canning.
The teacher resource pack
Working with colleagues in School of Education and Social Work at BCU we have created a curriculum linked resource pack for Key Stage 1 teachers to enable teachers to confidently address difficult topics and develop children’s awareness of feelings and emotions. The book and accompanying resources will also help all children to understand how difficult it is to live with eczema on a day-to day-basis and develop empathy towards others.