Nut allergy? Armed Forces?

I wondered how long it would take me to get on my soapbox about something or other to do with food. And then this email came in from a friend….

Dear Friends,

For a long time you have heard me going on about my son not being able to join the RAF although in September 2008 he was offered a full scholarship after a 4-day interview, within minutes of the offer, the paperwork was brought in and it was denied.

A few months before his interview the MOD had decided that anyone with life-threatening conditions would be prevented from joining/continuing to be employed in any capacity and yet the paper work did not get through and he was called for interview although he had declared his nut allergy status several years earlier.

I tried to find out more and was shocked to read that if someone is on a vegetarian, Kosher or Halal diet that is catered for in the RAF. So, why not nut allergy? One can decide to follow a particular diet for a lot of reasons; you do not CHOOSE to be nut allergic. And being nut-allergic does not affect your capacity to work. He had eaten RAF rations at numerous events, training camps, etc. with no ill effects. One appreciates the duty of care that has to be maintained to protect staff and colleagues.

As a parent, I confess to a certain amount of relief that hewould not be setting off to a war-torn part of the world within months of his graduation last summer, but disappointment for him as he had set his heart and a lot of energy working towards joining a regiment. His history degree dissertation was on the RAF regiment and he was in the air squadron for 4 years receiving excellent references and experience which will surely help in any future career.

Back in 2008 I had also checked the Hansard website and noticed a number of MPs raising the issue on belalf of constituents being prevented from continuing their applications in the Armed Forces.

If you are interested in this, please would you look at the site and the article and pass it on to those who might be interested.

This the article:
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4408758/Teen-Adam-Johns-dreams-of-joining-the-army-dashed-because-he-is-allergic-to-nuts.html

This is the e-petition:
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/34950

As for my son – he is now completing his master’s degree in IT and has been accepted by Teach First to start training to teach history next summer.

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