As we approach the end of summer and move towards the autumn months, we start to reflect on the year that we have had and look towards Christmas and then the New Year.  2021 has certainly been a very memorable year, for various reasons.  

We started the year in lockdown and we had a lot of concerns for the melanoma patient community.  During 2020 we did everything we could to maintain contact with patients, including our weekly zoom meetings, longer opening hours for our helplines, patient and medical online sessions and as a team, we kept in close contact with each other.  Working from home and in isolation isn’t the best when you are trying to find solutions for patients and families and as Melanoma UK’s ‘Hinge & Bracket’, we aren’t afraid to admit that there were days when we struggled.

Today we took part in a Parliamentary Roundtable event which was hosted by one of our Ambassadors, Chris Bryant.  Many people know that Chris was diagnosed with melanoma three years ago.  The event was concentrating on non-melanoma skin cancers as we have done some work in this area previously.  We were concentrating on the challenges that Covid placed upon skin cancer patients and of course, clinicians.  The last eighteen months have shown up some serious challenges in a number of areas, as was highlighted by several medics involved in the event.  

It is probably fair to say that one of the biggest challenges faced was the way in which patient appointments were handled during the pandemic.  Many patients who were concerned about skin lesions were unable to see their doctors and were relying on mobile phone technology in order to try and let GPs see the issues.  

During the meeting we highlighted how our partnership with SkinVision is empowering individuals to monitor their skin spots and feel confident when looking for signs of skin cancer.
The partnership with SkinVision was launched as a direct result of Covid 19 and the impact the pandemic was having on the worrying proportion of professional skin checks being missed. Embracing the use of this technology we can now encourage everybody to make skin self-examinations part of their regular routine. 
Since February 2021 we have been able to gift over five hundred free annual SkinVision licenses to patients using our My Melanoma App and the feedback has been phenomenal. 
We now have a real opportunity to help the NHS and support different parts of the care pathway when it comes to the 2-week wait referral system. SkinVision is the first certified skin cancer detection app based on extensive clinical trials. With over 200K users in the UK (1.8million globally), over 9K skin cancers detected to date (50K globally).
We are very lucky to be working with a number of fabulous partners and we are extremely proud of the relationship with Skin Vision 

In the last few weeks we have seen a number of live events taking place and it has been lovely to see our fundraisers back, doing their stuff, including the Great North Run and a couple of skydives!   We have a number of events that our supporters can take place in - if there is anything you see that you’d like to do, just let us know. 

Finally, we have some news about our office.  For a number of years, we had a small space at the front of our office which we used for meetings, etc.  During Covid, all our meetings went online and we have not had a meeting in the office for over eighteen months.  So, anxious not to waste that space and in an effort to try and recover some of the funds that we lost during the pandemic, we have now changed the front of our office into a small charity shop.  Further details of the opening will follow.  

Thank you again for your ongoing support.  And as always, if you need us, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  
Gill and Di