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Saxmundham: Charity scheme’s seven ‘S’ words for sun-savvy pupils

10:00 06 August 2014

Schoolchildren take part in a sun awareness campaign

Schoolchildren take part in a sun awareness campaign

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Some 500 primary school pupils across six Suffolk schools were given tips on how to keep safe in the sun, as part of a charity scheme.

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The talks, given in and around Saxmundham by Debbie Logan, the cancer specialist educator from Cancer Campaign in Suffolk, were part of the charity’s Knowledge for Life programme, which aims to educate as many people in Suffolk as possible about the importance of detecting cancer in its early stages.

The sun awareness project was supported by the Rotary Club of Saxmundham, which also funded a box of props used to interact with the children about how to protect themselves from the sun, including hat styles and clothing that best provide protection.

All children went away with seven special S words: ‘slip’ on a T-shirt, ‘slap’ on a hat, ‘slop’ on the sun cream, ‘slide’ on the sunglasses, ‘seek’ the shade, ‘swallow’ some water, and know your ‘skin’ colour. They were also encouraged to spend time outside in the early or late part of the day without protection to increase their vitamin D intake, and learned that the sun’s rays can still burn on cloudy days.

Val Jones, head teacher of both Charsfield and Dennington primary schools, said: “The children enjoyed the talk and seem to be more sun aware – wearing hats, drinking plenty of water, finding shade to keep cool and applying sun cream, particularly on sports day.”

Jon James from the Saxmundham Rotary Club said: “We hope that the message will go out from these pupils to parents and family members, which in the long term will help to reduce the incidence of skin cancers.”

Next year, the Rotary Club will again help to fund the programme, and other local primary schools have the opportunity to take part.

Debbie Logan also speaks to local businesses and community groups, raising awareness of specific cancers, beneficial lifestyle choices, the early signs and symptoms, how to self-examine, and the importance of the national screening and help that is available. She said: “The more people I can get the messages across to, the more people will survive cancer because they will have a greater chance of detecting it in the early stages.”

If a school or group would like to take part in the sun awareness scheme next year, or you would like to book a cancer awareness talk or support any of the charity’s projects, go online at ccisuffolk.org or call 01473 211884.

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