Our Charity Ambassador Lisa Guthrie
Skin cancer victim is urging children to stay safe in the sun
Lisa Guthrie, 35, from Consett, County Durham, who used to use a sun bed when she was a teenager, was diagnosed with malignant melanoma and is now in remission.
The mother-of-two, who was made an ambassador by Skcin, the national skin cancer charity, last year, gave a special assembly at St Mary’s Primary School, in Blackhill, where her nine year son, Harley, is a pupil.
Ms Guthrie, who used to visit a tanning salon up to four times a week, said: “Now I absolutely detest sunbeds. It was something I was into when I was younger, but what a lot of people do not understand is if you have even used them when you are a teenager you have damaged your skin. It catches up with you in later life.
“I am putting all of my efforts into raising awareness and the start of summer is a good time to do that.
“People need to know about looking after their skin at an early age.”
As part of the Sun Safe Schools Campaign for the North-East, Ms Guthrie will be visiting other schools in the region so they can earn the charity’s Sun Safe schools accreditation.
Ms Guthrie said: “The sun safe schools accreditation is so important to educate our kids.
“With 80 per cent of skin cancers are caused by over exposure to UV so in effect is very preventable, if we educate from a young age we can help save lives and this achieves cultural change that we all need to be safe in the sun.
“One blistering sunburn in childhood can double chances of skin cancer later in life.
“Children spend almost half their childhood at schools and with 8hrs a week spent outdoors, children are an “at risk” group.
“Schools and the parents have a duty of care to ensure our children are protected during the school day.”
The first ten primary schools in the North East to complete their Sun Safe Accreditation and send in a ‘Sun Safe Superstars Video’ about the scheme and what they have learned will win a Sun Station with mirror, UV dial, Sunscreen dispenser, quality SPF 30 Sunscreen, plus a George the Sun Safe Superstar Board Game.