A FAMILY is campaigning to make air travel safer for those with nut allergies by putting pressure on airline bosses to ban in-flight nut products altogether.

Julie Martin, 56, the wife of Southend United chairman Ron Martin, runs the Amy May Trust with one of her sons, Tom, 24.

Mrs Martin, who lives in Benfleet, launched it in March 2015 after her niece, Amy May Shead, 29, also from Benfleet, suffered a near-fatal reaction after ordering food in a restaurant in Hungary three years ago.

The incident left Ms Shead with severe brain damage, and unable to walk and talk.

The charity has now set up an online petition not only to ban the sale of nut products in airlines, but to give stewards the right, under a law or policy, to request passengers who have bought nuts outside of the airline not to eat them during flight.

She said: “If the stewards have the authority to tell people you can’t open a can of peanuts it would make such a big difference.

“Support for the trust has grown hugely. It first started with Amy’s friends and now we have more than 300,000 supporters country-wide.

“The trust was set up to raise awareness about the seriousness of nut allergy, and to stop anybody going through a terrible experience like Amy did.

“The trust also raises funds to support Amy and allow her to continue receiving intensive therapy treatment.”

Last year a child, Marcus Daley, suffered a severe nut allergy on a flight from Thailand to Melbourne, Australia. The incident prompted Singapore Airlines to review serving nuts on flights.

Mrs Martin added: “Imagine being thousands of feet up in the air and one person suffers from a nut reaction there’s no way they can be sent to the hospital immediately. It happened so quickly for Amy, and it shouldn’t have happened. The restaurant was aware of Amy’s requests, they assured her, but they didn’t take it seriously.”

Mrs Martin and her son have dedicated their time to raising awareness through charity events and online campaigning through social media.

To support the trust, head to change.org/amymay