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Cancer Research UK calls on young Britons to stay cool and step into the shade this summer

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by Cancer Research UK | News

6 July 2012

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While the summer may have been a washout so far, in between the showers there are some spells of sunshine, so Cancer Research UK has launched its latest youth campaign, ‘Made in the Shade’, encouraging young Britons to make sure they protect their skin from too much UV, and get creative in the shade.

Launching at this weekend’s Wireless Festival, the campaign will encourage youngsters aged 16-24 to spend time in the shade when the sun is strong, as too much sun can lead to sunburn, premature ageing and an increased risk of skin cancer.

Cancer Research UK is calling on young people wanting to take part in ‘Made in the Shade’, to upload content they have created in the shade to a specially created Tumblr microblogging platform.  

To make this as easy as possible, the charity is providing free mobile ‘cool spots’ at cities across the UK throughout the summer.  

As well as providing access to the internet free of charge, there will be exclusive downloadable content from a whole host of celebrities, as well as a creative challenge to win money-can’t-buy prizes.

The campaign is launching in response to a new Cancer Research UK study that maps behaviour change over the past nine years.  The results show that despite the fact that almost 80 per cent (78.9 per cent) of 16-24 years olds are aware that too much exposure to the sun is one of the main causes of skin cancer, only around 11 per cent actually spend any time in the shade. 

This figure has seen a significant decrease since the survey began in 2003.  The study also has seen a dip in people wearing any sunscreen at all despite malignant melanoma (the most serious type of skin cancer) being the sixth most common cancer in the UK.

Recent figures also show that over the last 20 years, the incidence rate of malignant melanoma in 15-24 year olds in the UK has increased by around half (48 per cent). 

Research shows that getting a painful sunburn just once every two years could triple the risk of malignant melanoma.  So it’s really important to protect your skin from sunburn by using shade, clothing and at least factor 15 sunscreen applied generously and regularly when the sun is strong.

Chris Lunn at Cancer Research UK, comments: “With all of the unpredictable weather we’re experiencing this summer it’s key that when the sun does shine, you don’t get caught out by sunburn. We hear stories of people spending hours in the sun desperate to catch the rays when they do eventually appear, but this comes at a price.  As well as the pain that getting sunburnt can cause, it’s also a sign that your skin has been irreversibly damaged, which can lead to premature ageing and an increased risk of skin cancer.

“We want people to see hanging out in the shade with their mates as THE place to be this summer and enjoy the outdoors safely without causing any long-term damage to their skin.”

Content of any form will be accepted from short films and photographs to blog posts and comedy sketches.  What’s key is that it’s made in the shade and inspired by the ‘Spirit of Summer 2012’.  Entries will be judged by a high-profile panel, which includes Natasha McNamara from Glamour Magazine, Founder of Raindance Film Festival Elliot Grove and illustrator Quentin Jones.

The final entries in each category will be put to the public vote where they will battle to win prizes including an article appearing in Glamour Magazine, a short film course with Raindance Film Festival, a London College of Photography course and a BBQ with celebrity chef Gizzi Erskine.

Celebrities supporting the campaign include Will Best, Jack Whitehall and Simian Mobile Disco among others.

For more information on Cancer Research UK’s new SunSmart campaign, Made in the Shade, visit Entries can be made from 6th July – 3rd August 2012.


For further information / interviews / images

Paul McNicholl    [email protected]                 02074409820
Lucy Draper        [email protected]                 02074409828
Andrew Soar       [email protected]   02074409826