Wednesday 17 July 2019

SKCIN’s North West Ambassador, Michelle Forsyth awards children at her local Sun Safe Accredited school 400 Sun Hats, courtesy of former pupil, 81 year old skin cancer patient Brian Watson and national awareness charity Skcin.

Michelle Forsyth, Macmillan skin cancer care co-ordinator at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and SKCIN’s North West Ambassador for several years has undertaken fantastic work within many local schools, helping them to achieve Skcin’s Sun Safe Schools Accreditation by providing hands on support, assemblies and workshops.

Yesterday, Westminster Primary School in Blackpool received 400 free legionnaire sun hats for every pupil, thanks to former pupil and skin cancer patient Brian Watson who wanted to help the school ensure all children had access to suitable sun hats, following his visits with Michelle to help raise awareness of the importance of Sun Safety.

Michelle Forsyth said, ‘Brian has had 13 skin cancers, 1 very serious Melanoma and multiple BCCs and SCCs. He currently remains under close review, however, helping me raise awareness amongst the community has been hugely therapeutic for him, as 6 months ago he wasn’t leaving his house and he now feels he has a purpose!’

Marie Tudor, CEO at Skcin said, ‘We are delighted to see such fantastic work being undertaken by arguably one of our most proactive Ambassadors. Michelle’s passion and enthusiasm is inspirational, her dedication clearly demonstrating the valuable work that can be achieved by combining efforts and pooling talents for the benefit of the wider community.

‘We are humbled by Brain’s story and his positive and proactive approach to helping our future generations by donating these items which can, unfortunately and all-too-often be deemed luxuries in many inner city schools’.

‘I feel like I've been given my life back since I've been helping Michelle raise skin cancer awareness and the importance of sun safety’ said Brian.  ‘It’s given me a purpose and knowing I might save just one person from going through what I have been through makes it so worthwhile. I look forward to continuing to help Michelle and SKCIN make a difference!’

Kimberley Leathley from Westminster Primary said, ‘The school and parents are extremely grateful to Michelle, Brian and SKCIN for all of their support. Our journey into becoming a Sun Safe School has been enjoyed by all of our pupils. The Skcin charity and Michelle have guided us every step of the way and having Brian come in to talk to pupils and staff was an amazing experience that we all truly appreciated. Having undertaken the Sun Safe Schools accreditation, we are all so much more aware of the damaging affects of the sun and are now implementing sun safe strategies into the pupils everyday lives that will become so ingrained, we truly believe that pupils will carry these strategies into their adult lives.’

Heather Baines, Skin Cancer Lead Nurse, said, ‘The work Michelle does in the community is invaluable as she continues to raise awareness of skin cancer prevention. As a team we have provided as much additional support as we can to enhance Brian’s patient journey and it’s refreshing to see him reaping the benefits.’

Joan de Vega Macmillan Skin Cancer CNS Said, Michelle has had a very positive impact on Brian’s recovery and I think this has increased his self-confidence and self-worth by involving Brian in helping the school achieve their Sun Safe Schools Accreditation. As a team we have a fantastic relationship with Brian and he feels very well supported. Working in partnership with Michelle and national awareness charity SKCIN has really made a huge difference to Brian’s well-being’.

Michelle and SKCIN would also like to thank ‘Hi Vis Heroes' for their help in sourcing and supplying the 400 legionnaire sun hats within a tight budget and deadlines.

As the academic year now comes to a close for Sun Safe Schools, SKCIN, Michelle and the team at Blackpool Hospital will continue to combine our efforts in raising awareness across the community, feeling proud that we are truly making a difference and saving lives.


For further information about Skcin and/or the Sun Safe Schools national accreditation programme, please contact:

To contact Michelle Forsyth, Macmillan skin cancer care co-ordinator at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:

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