Silver JubileeThe British Association  of Skin Camouflage celebrates its Silver Jubilee with a conference and ball in Manchester.

Last month (October 2010) delegates and exhibitors from across the country gathered at Manchester’s Thistle Hotel to celebrate the 25 years since Joyce Allsworth founded the Association.

Just like skin camouflage itself, the programme for the Silver Jubliee conference contained a little bit of many disciplines. BASC Principal Tutor, Elizabeth Allen, and Chairwoman, Liz Hawkins had put together a day of medical updates, real life stories, artistry and a global dimension.

Keynote speakers from the medical world included John Buckle, consultant maxilliofacial prosthetist, Andrew Wright consultant dermatologist and Tom Goodacre, consultant plastic surgeon. From beauty and make-up artistry was Angela Bartlett Chair of BABTAC and from the charity sector, Ruth McLoughlin from Changing Faces. The speakers that were special for me however were BASC’s ambassador Ros Mawazini and Elizabeth Allen introducing the relaunch of Joyce Allsworth original textbook on “the principles and art of para-medical skin camouflage” – more news on that in part II of the conference report.

Many people know of Ros’s story and probably even more people have seen the photographs of the portwine stain birthmark that is on her face without and without camouflage and which she so generously allows to be reproduced to support BASC. Ros’s story of how a shy withdrawn girl found confidence through skin camouflage and how that helped her to have successful and varied careers is both moving and uplifting as told in her own words and photographs. Her life has now moved on again as she has become a wife and mother to a handsome little boy. The importance of camouflage for Ros so graphically and amusingly illustrated as she described her determination to keep her camouflage on and perfect throughout her labour!

Inspiring interludes occurred thoroughout the day with video footage made specially for the conference by some of the BASC’s overseas members in Argentina, Peru and Taiwan.