Thursday 10 December 2015

The Colin Bloomfield Melanoma Appeal 2015

Skcin  Press release Dec 2015

In January 2015, Skcin were proud to be given the opportunity to join forces with BBC Radio Derby to facilitate The Colin Bloomfield Melanoma Appeal and assist them in raising the profile of the UKs most common and fastest rising cancer.

Colin Bloomfield was a well known presenter and Derby County commentator who worked at BBC Radio Derby for over 10 years. Sadly in 2013 he was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma. Colin had a unique and special relationship with his listeners and he shared his journey with his audience, speaking openly with optimism about his illness and treatment.

The BBC Radio Derby staff were touched by the reaction and support from the listeners in Derbyshire and East Staffordshire. It was therefore only fitting that the Colin Bloomfield Melanoma Appeal, launched in January 2015, was created to fulfil Colins wishes as he took a brave stand against the disease. His passion was to raise awareness of skin cancer, to educate people about the risks of UV, the importance of sun safety, to prevent the disease and to educate on the early detection of melanoma.

The objective of the appeal was to make Derbyshire and East Staffordshire the Sun Safe Capital of the UK. A key activity was to encourage and assist 200 primary schools within the area to gain their Sun Safe Schools accreditation - a national scheme developed by Skcin. The appeal, with the support of Skcin and their Sun Safe Schools programme, provided 200 local schools that took part, with enhanced educational resources, along with sunscreen and dispensers for every class - encouraging them to take part in the scheme by educating their pupils, parents and staff and to become official Sun Safe Schools by achieving their accreditation.

The schools appeal achieved a huge reach, with over 60,000 children and parents across Derbyshire and East Staffordshire provided with vital education and/or information on skin cancer and sun safety, specifically designed to promote prevention and early detection. Many more thousands of listeners were also touched by the campaign and its messaging both on air and at local events.

Skcin also facilitated several local skin check events that took place around the county with the kind support of local Dermatology Consultants where hundreds of listeners turned up to get free, professional advice, with a number of potentially serious referrals made.

The appeal has been a huge success with funds raised presently sitting at £136,294 attracting donations from key donors such as Derby County Football Club who donated £14,000, the Freemasons who donated £10,000 and the Charity Auction at Derbyshire Day, Carsington Water which raised over £7,000

The appeal was also flooded with postal donations, and the Just Giving site a hive of activity with online donations. Countless fundraising activities took place during 2015 in support of Colin - key events such as Sally Peppers London Marathon were hugely supported by listeners with local sports clubs such as Derbyshire County Cricket, Derby County Football all doing their bit to support the appeal. From Skydives to Cycle rides, raffles and collections, to pub quizzes, and cake sales - the local community showed relentless support.

Local schools taking part in the scheme also raised money for the appeal and some listeners donated monies from anniversary and funeral collections. The broad fundraising activity and the ideas put in place have been overwhelming and hugely appreciated by Colins family, colleagues and Skcin.

The appeal is closing on 31 Dec 2015, finishing with the Scouts donating monies from their Stamp and Deliver Christmas delivery campaign to the appeal.

Colins story and the appeal touched so many people that that their generosity was truly amazing. The appeal exceeded all our expectations.

Due to this success, a decision had to be made as to how the excess funds from the schools campaign could be spent wisely and benefit the people of Derbyshire and East Staffordshire. The outcome of the decision was to provide two sun safety related items. The first instalment of a bespoke, oak sun shelter is planned for Markeaton Park, one of Derbyshires largest parks, visited by millions every year. The park features a childrens play area and pool, but presently has no artificial shade around the pool area which is used by many families during the summer months - making it a perfect location for the shelter, reinforcing the importance of sun safety to visitors.

In addition to the shade structure, the appeal has purchased the UKs first UV solar powered Sun Meter. The Sun Meter visually looks like a traffic light but it provides an indicator as to the UV measurement for that day and guidelines for appropriate sun safety measures.

Both purchases are linked directly to the campaigns sun safe messaging and most importantly benefit the people of Derbyshire and East Staffordshire who so kindly and generously donated to the appeal.

Sadly Colin passed away on 25th April 2015 in the middle of the appeal and it therefore makes this campaign, the Sun Safe Schools Accreditation Scheme, the Sun Shelter and the Sun Meter a lasting legacy for a special inspiring man who lost his life at such a young age to melanoma.

The appeal has not only raised the profile of skin cancer significantly in Derbyshire and East Staffordshire, but in fact, nationwide.

Education and detection from an early age is the key to reversing the soaring rates of skin cancer cases in the UK, creating a positive impact on our future generations and those to come. Skin would like to thank the BBC for this opportunity, the people of Derbyshire and East Staffordshire for their generosity and compassion and ultimately Colin for taking us on his courageous journey and for making difference.

Thank you Colin Bloomfield.