Melanoma Research Fund Autumn 2016 Newsletter
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Dear All, 

Although winter has truly set in, let me cast your mind back to what a wonderful summer of sunshine we’ve had, with 2016 being touted as one of the hottest ever on record. However, with 16 of the 17 warmest years having occurred in the 21st century it seems that global warming could be to blame which is not only a massive concern for the environment, but also for the health of our skin and will possibly impact on the already fast rising rates of melanoma.

With this in mind, if you’re lucky enough to be jetting off for some winter sun, be it a beach or skiing holiday, we urge you all to remember to remember to pack sun protection and ensure your SPF30+ is in date.  Please think twice about forsaking the health of your skin for a tan (faking it is a much more on-trend option anyway) and always avoid sunburn. as this can triple your risk of melanoma. 
Whatever you’re planning this winter, have fun! In the meantime, here’s our latest news and a quick recap on what we have achieved in 2016.
Harry Townsend


This year we launched our gardening initiative called; Watch Your Back! – encouraging all outdoor loving gardeners, but especially men over 50 (the highest risk group) to sun protect and skin their check.  We also promoted our Outdoor Kids Sun Safety Code initiative to all those who work with children, to ensure children continue to learning good sun protection habits from an early age. Due to the continued success of our work alongside our dedicated partners and supporters, we are already planning some exciting activities to take both initiatives ‘onwards and upwards’ in 2017. Watch this space!

Melanoma Taskforce

We are proud to be on the panel of this very important government lobbying group.  In October we attended a meeting in Portcullis House, chaired by Pauline Latham MP OBE.  Guest speakers included Morfydd Williams, NHS National Cancer Programme Director, who is currently leading a national programme to transform the delivery of primary care support services. 

Morfydd talked in depth about the implementation of the National Cancer Strategy, the effect on new treatments, the complications of funding and resources, the big increases in melanoma and the impact that is having on treatment. The panel also heard about the most recent developments in skin cancer treatments and how this could create complications regarding long term survivorship and the latest report from NICE regarding the unacceptable wait on referrals. 

As a result, the charity will be actively involved in various activities to ensure that melanoma is on the table in parliament, and will provide updates on this as soon as they are available.

New Governing Board

In addition to our campaigning, we have been focusing on our internal governance to ensure that our work is efficient and effective, creating the best opportunity for impact.  We have been busy revising our policies and have recruited and elected an expanded Board of Trustees, all of whom are keen to help grow the charity alongside myself and Michelle Baker, the charity’s CEO. 
Further to this I would like to introduce our new team:

Stewart Townsend is the middle son of Harry and Myfanwy and is a founding Trustee. He is passionate about fighting melanoma and proud to support and steer the charity in all its work.  He has been instrumental in ensuring the charity continues to strive to create impact, providing his astute business acumen to the team effort. Stewart now lives in Connecticut US but is fully involved in the Board's decision making process, representing the family name and supporting Harry in his role as Chairman.

Mark Habgood is a long-term friend of the Townsend family and is highly experienced in charity governance.  Following Harry’s legendry wheelbarrow walk in New Zealand, Mark set up The Melanoma Foundation over there which has gone strength to strength. We are delighted that he has agreed to become a Trustee to help advice and steer our work.

Professor Tony Metcalfe has been involved with the charity for many years and we are delighted that he has agreed to become a Trustee.  Tony is the Director of Research at the Blond McIndoe Research Foundation and Professor of Burns & Wound Healing Research at the Brighton Centre for Regenerative Medicine, PABS, University of Brighton.  His medical and research knowledge will be invaluable as will his passion to create impact, make a difference and fight melanoma.

Julie Mockford is a central figure in the East Grinstead community, being Chair of East Grinstead in Bloom (EGIB), a staff governor at the Queen Victoria Hospital, a local councillor and the secretary of the Imberhorne & Baldwins Neighbourhood Panel. If that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she will also be the town mayor next year and has nominated us as one of her chosen charities.

Norman Mockford is a local town and district councillor who organises the local Carnival at East Court each year. Together with being chairman of the Christmas Lights committee, Norman campaigns tirelessly to help other likeminded citizens in the community.  Both Julie and Norman bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, enthusiasm and environmental conscience to their role of Trustees and we are honoured to have them on the Board.

Want to join us?

We will be looking to recruit a few more Trustees in 2017 so if you can bring a professional skill to our table, such as finance, law, fundraising or marketing, please contact Harry on 01342 322508 or email:

Impact of our funding

We think it is important to ensure all our stakeholders understand where their donations are going and we are proud to provide you with an update from one of our key beneficiaries, the Blond McIndoe Research Foundation. Michelle Baker recently met up with Dr Yella Martin who is based at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead to discuss the progress the team are making with the work we are currently funding. Read all about it HERE

Thank you for your support

As always, we are very grateful for all those who raise donations in our name, all of which helps us continue our important work.  We would however like to mention a few of you who have really gone that extra mile. 
In October, Joanne Howland passionately organised a fundraising dinner in Leeds in memory of her husband Craig, who at 44 died of melanoma, just over ten years ago.  With the help of friends and family she raised an incredible £3,300 for melanoma.  
Cheryl Muggeridge, Andy Jones, Mike Dobie and their teams organised a fantastic evening of music at the Gatwick Manor Hotel this month. They raised £1,215.00, divided between St Catherine's Hospice and ourselves.
Snowhill and Roundstone branches of Haskins Garden Centre and Polhill Garden Centre in Sevenoaks hosted our Watch Your Back! skin health event this summer.  Their team and customers helped us raise lots of awareness and a whopping £4,500 in donations. 
Finally, Leeds United FC regularly sends though cheque donations from the sale of their signed tops and a recent donation of £215.00 brings the total donations this year to £930.00.

And Finally...

We are delighted to have recently received a cheque for £4,000 from the Trail Running Association (TRA), reflecting their continued support and the long association that Harry Townsend has had with this national governing body.  Secretary Anthony Taylor offered Harry the role of TRA President, following their recent AGM, saying that "as co-founder of the TRA and Race Director of the SDW80, the general consensus at the recent AGM, following the death of John Foden, was that there couldn't really be any other candidate to succeed him and would he be prepared to accept this appointment?".  That was a 'yes' from Harry who looks forward to the challenge, and also a big 'thank you' for the wonderful donation.


Copyright © 2016 Melanoma Fund, All rights reserved.

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