Let’s Talk About Cough

Two members of ELF’s Chronic Cough Patient Advisory Group (PAG) met in person for the first time at a pilot event to make more people aware of chronic cough.

The pilot event, called “Aliens, Avalanches & ATP” took place in London, UK as part of the Great Exhibition Road Festival. The event came out of a programme by the University of Manchester, Imperial College London and the health research organisation VOCAL. This programme brought together people who have experience of chronic cough and those who are trying to learn more about and treat this condition.

During the event, people listened to recorded stories from real individuals whose lives are affected by chronic cough. The event was open to anyone interested. It aimed to help people better understand how chronic cough can impact someone’s life. Afterward, attendees had a chance to have a relaxed discussion with the people who had helped create the event. One of these creators was Linda Clephane, a member of ELF’s Chronic Cough PAG. The picture shows her together with another PAG member, Ruth Last. Ruth had attended the event after hearing about it from ELF.

Linda said: “Being involved with the Let’s Talk About Cough Project has been a very positive experience for me. It allowed me to share personal stories of how cough has affected my life in a very safe space. Hearing the experiences of others with chronic cough has helped me to appreciate that I am not alone in having this condition. The creative process, which involved researchers and healthcare professionals along with those of us with a cough, was interesting and engaging. I think the presentation that we made was a fitting tribute to the journey we had travelled together for over a year and will raise awareness of chronic cough.”

Ruth added: “I thought the event was a sympathetically and well put together immersive experience.  Not only did it give a descriptive insight into the feelings and emotions of the chronic cougher, but also highlights the experiences of those that encounter them on a daily basis. I hope it creates greater empathy and a better understanding of this much-misunderstood affliction.”

The Let’s Talk About Cough programme plans to repeat the event as part of festivals and events in the UK throughout 2024. They have renamed the event ‘One in Ten’ to highlight that one in ten people have chronic cough. They will also make a digital version available in 2024. You can find out more on the Let’s Talk About Cough webpage.

Pictured is one of the discussion groups at the event, with ELF PAG members Ruth Last (second from right) and Linda Clephane (third from right).