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Join the Cancer Champions Starting Conversations
13 Jan 2024

NHS Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin has partnered with Lingen Davies Cancer Fund and Qube to deliver the Cancer Champions project. Pictured: Hairdresser Sarah Morris, who has become a Cancer Champion, and Miranda Ashwell from Lingen Davies.

The initiative is part of a national NHS England drive to encourage cancer screening uptake and early diagnosis.

Sarah Morris, owner of Meraki Hair & Beauty in Shrewsbury, is calling for others to join the thriving initiative to promote early cancer diagnosis, recognising that hairdressers and barbers could play a key role.

The project has so far recruited and trained over 170 local people as Cancer Champions who are now having conversations within their community to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of cancer and encourage people to take up cancer screening invitations.

Sarah said, “Hairdressers provide a safe space for people to talk about their worries. After the training, I now have the perfect opportunity to talk to people about the importance of spotting the early signs and how it can save lives. 

“We would love fellow hairdressers to join the initiative and benefit their community.” 

Miranda Ashwell, Cancer Champions Project Lead, said the initiative has been a huge success with people from all walks of life signing up to the free training.

“Spotting the signs and symptoms early and attending regular cancer screenings is hugely important in reducing the impact cancer can have. Early diagnosis saves lives. Through the training, we want to normalise conversations around cancer to reduce the fear and embarrassment people may have in reporting signs and symptoms or taking up their screening invitations.

“We love to recruit those who are able to easily have conversations with a wide range of people and hairdressers are a great example. Hairdressers and barbers see clients all day and often have personal conversations as their salons are treated as safe spaces to chat.

“The Cancer Champions project enables people to have the knowledge and confidence to have everyday conversations that could potentially save someone’s life,” she added.

The Cancer Champions team will be hosting a special training event dedicated to hairdressers and barbers at Meole Brace Trinity Centre on Monday, January 29th. To book a place, contact r.hennessey@qube-oca.org.uk.

For more information about the project and additional training dates, visit www.cancerchampions.co.uk.