What We Do
Providing informative support to skin disease sufferers and their carers alike, SDBM combine art, design, performance, technology, and fashion into fundraising events.
Art has inherently been a malleable medium by which many forms of expressions can be made, SDBM is yet another to do so. We work in donated spaces with volunteer artists and designers to combine artistic mediums to explore a sense of skin disease suffering through art in support of skin disease sufferers. The creative artefacts can emanate as, participatory art, interactive installations or even flamboyant fashion shows demonstrating the latest skin therapy garment technologies. Fashion, art and design are at the heart of SDBM as tools used to champion skin awareness to the world.
SDBM provide a public awareness service of ‘skin disease sufferers plights’ by producing expressive events such as art exhibitions, masquerade balls, and fashion shows, all proceeds of which go towards targeted causes. Our choice of medium to champion a very serious cause may be artistic to say the least, but is at the heart of the founders pre-skin condition vocation as a fashion designer. Shabana Islam, combines her talent and experience through SDBM the charity to bring skin awareness to all through art, design and fashion.
From the SDBM website www.skinawareness.org we have provided several options for public financial donations to help improve the quality of life for many. These options include, text messaging, online card payment, and cheque. Online ‘anonymous donation’ options are also provided. These donations will be used to facilitate our three main causes. Utilising the expertise and knowledge of the founder of SDBM Shabana Islam as a creatively open minded long term skin disease sufferer, the strength of SDBM is in the empathetic nature by which our collective efforts to help support skin disease sufferers and their carers and bring light to their daily struggles to the general public is done so as one of them. If you like, ‘using creativity to bring skin awareness from within’.
Our goal is to educate and raise awareness of the difficulties and obstacles faced by skin disease patients and their families. Our causes are designed to:
- Improve and give back Quality of Life
- Reduce Social Isolation
- Give Hope
- Improve Education
- Make life Easier
- Give back Independence
SDBM is run by a team of unpaid volunteers and operate on zero administration costs. Our transparent approach enables you to see every change your contribution makes as 100% of all donations go towards our projects.
“ Though my time in hospital was a frustrating and painful one – a time that forced me to abandon my own career and begin a life of imprisonment – I was able to learn about a wide-range of chronic skin diseases and I was inspired by the strength and durability on show by the people who were in the same position as myself in relation to their own ailment. However, I became increasingly aware that there was a considerable lack of knowledge and understanding from people who did not suffer as we did “ I did not realise skin conditions could be so debilitating”
- To publicize and gain public support for the Organisation
- To raise funds and receive contributions, where appropriate, for financing the organisation and its work.
- To provide information and support to patients and their families in an open and confidential manner.
- To raise awareness of skin diseases and the consequences for sufferers through education and media representation.
- To take all necessary lawful action to attain the objectives of the Organisation
- Organise meetings, training courses and events.
- To create opportunities for skin disease sufferers to address social isolation and to re-build their confidence and self-esteem through workshops, support groups and activities.
- To facilitate patients and their families in getting the specialised care they require by acting as a resource of specialised doctors, counsellors and facilities.
- To assist patients in coping with their disease by providing information, and organising support groups, lectures and activities aimed at rehabilitation and counselling.
- To encourage sufferers to live as full a life as possible by providing a positive and safe environment to discover talents, learn new skills, enjoy hobbies or return to work after a medical absence.
- To raise awareness of skin diseases in the medical community and to advocate increased support for sufferers by highlighting the ramifications on patients’ lives.
- To promote equal opportunity in the workplace by providing information and support to patients and their employers.
- To promote and raise funds for the research, prevention and treatment of dermatological conditions.
- To promote international standards with respect to food, biological, pharmaceutical and similar products.
- Co-operate and support statutory and voluntary agencies engaged in the furtherance of the above objectives in the UK and abroad.
How It All Started
SKIN DEEP Behind the Mask (SDBM), was born out of my personal experience of my skin condition which turned my world upside down. I had to leave my career as a fashion designer and it left me housebound for 12 years. It has robbed me of my face, identity, independence and time. My skin condition is yet to be fully understood even after 20 years. Due to severe episodes of my skin condition; sustaining second degree burns and subsequent unfortunate series of events and setbacks all immediate plans to launch Skin Deep Behind the Mask were put on hold. However, the idea never died and in time, I became in a position to take the charity forward with the help and support of volunteers, to allow me to deliver my promise of raising awareness and helping provide support and help to other sufferers of skin disease. Unfortunately, it didn’t come without further obstacles and challenges. Over the years my skin condition continued to deteriorate and I suffered septicaemia several times. The first bout left me fighting for my life. Nevertheless, I have fought through to keep the charity active.
Patron - Professor John Hawk is Emeritus Professor
Honorary Consultant Dermatologist and recent Head of the Photobiology Unit, St John’s Institute of Dermatology, King’s College and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, London.
In this role, he has been a research dermatologist and teacher of multiple dermatological trainees from all over the world, as well as having supervised the diagnosis and treatment of many thousands of dermatological patients, all over some thirty years.
He was recently President of the extremely successful World Congress on Cancers of the Skin
He received his original medical degree from Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand in 1969 after first completing a science degree in physics and mathematics at the University of Auckland. He then worked briefly in Australia, later spent a postgraduate research year at Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA and finally took up his definitive post at the St John’s Institute of Dermatology, now at King’s College and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, London, in 1979, where he remained until 2006, since when he has continued to work in a private, consulting and lecturing role.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the Australasian-British invitation-only Cook Society, and has other interests in athletics (member, President’s Council of the New Zealand Olympic Committee), rugby (member, Middlesex Rugby Football Club), cricket (member, MCC and London New Zealand Cricket Club), skiing, golf (member, Wentworth and Foxhills), and the study of French and German.
All Party Parliamentary Group on Skin (APPGS) Support
Four members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Skin have publicly expressed their support for SKIN DEEP Behind the Mask and the work the charity is doing. Baroness Masham of Ilton, Sir Edward Leigh, MP for Gainsborough; John Pugh, former MP for Southport; and Karl McCartney JP, former MP for Lincoln. All four are members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Skin (APPGS). The APPGS was established in 1994 and aims to increase understanding about skin care issues in Parliament and to achieve improvements in the treatment and management of patients with skin disease. It also provides an unbiased means of responding to threats to dermatology services and acts as a forum for partners in skin care to engage with politicians with an interest in the issue.The APPGS has a large and active membership that includes MPs from all political parties, members of the House of Lords, health professionals, patient groups and commercial interests. We are very grateful to these MPs and Baroness Masham for their support. However, you don’t have to be an MP or Lord to support SKIN DEEP Behind the Mask. You can help us in many ways. You can donate money (you decide how much). You can give the gift of your time by becoming a volunteer.
“As a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Skin, I am all too familiar with the pain and suffering endured by many skin disease patients. Although significant progress has been made, in areas such as training in the diagnosis of skin diseases, much still needs to be done. Skin Deep Behind the Mask is the first organisation that I am aware of that aims to provide support for all types of skin disease patients. It is such a pleasure to lend my support.”Baroness Masham of Ilton
“Working to improve the lives of skin disease sufferers and their carers/families, is highly commendable. The function and importance of caring for our skin can, as you say, be overlooked. Rarely will we read that the prevalence of skin disease exceeds that of cancer. ‘Skin Deep Behind the Mask’ has contributed to highlighting this fact.” Sir Edward Leigh, MP Member of Parliament for Gainsborough
“I am well aware of the impact skin diseases such as vitiligo and alopecia can have on people and their families. The work Skin Deep Behind the Mask do to help and support sufferers of these conditions is absolutely pivotal and, in turn, I shall remain on hand to support the charity in any way I can.” Karl McCartney JP Former MP for Lincoln
“I warmly welcome the establishment of Skin Deep Behind the Mask as a further, much needed resource to tackle the impact of skin conditions across the UK. There is still a huge amount to be done to diagnose and treat all skin conditions, and I support SDBM as an initiative designed to provide a collective effort towards campaigning and providing support and information for clinicians, individuals, and carers whose lives will all be improved by further efforts in this area.”John Pugh – Former MP for Southport