Hunter Melanoma Foundation launch animated guide to help prevent melanoma

Hunter Melanoma Foundation launch animated guide to help prevent melanoma

The Hunter Melanoma Foundation (HMF) has launched a simple animated guide aimed at helping people check and protect their skin.

It is believed that this new guide is one of the first easy to follow instructional videos produced to protect people against melanoma in Australia.

The idea for the video was developed by Foundation Executive Officer, Claudia Tolhurst in collaboration with the Foundation board after a number of local people, skin specialists, doctors and melanoma specialists suggested that the community would value from a simple guide.

The Check and Protect video guides people through a simple way to check all parts of their body for changes to their skin and spots as well as some handy hints for protecting skin from the sun.

The project had been on the Foundation’s wish list for some time, but COVID-19 presented an opportunity.

“Many of our normal activities had to be cancelled due to social distancing orders, so we began to work on projects that could be done in isolation,” Claudia said.

“By chance, our public affairs consultants were in contact with a young local man who had returned to the region after working for major animation studios in Sydney and Melbourne where he worked on major blockbuster movies. His work had dried-up due to the pandemic and he was pleased to help us out.

“Nathan Cox who grew up in Eleebana and went to Warners Bay High worked closely with the team at Purser Communication to animate and voice the video. The result is a simple and informative guide to undertaking a regular skin check and protect regime,” she said.

As well as graphics and voice over, the video also includes captions and is available to view on the Foundation’s website and social media platforms.

Initial feedback has been outstanding with a number of local medical and skin specialists now working with HMF to use the video as part of their own patient communication.

Director of Newcastle Skin Check, Dr Tony Azzi, said with videos like this people can become more aware of the importance of early detection and make a habit of regular skin checks.

“Nobody knows your skin like you do, so it’s important that people know how to check their skin and what areas to specifically look for changes,” Tony said.

“The earliest sign that something is not right is often picked-up by a patient. That’s why the HMF self-examine skin check is such a vital tool.”

The Foundation hopes to be able to take the video further into the community and will use its ambassadors, including Pat Langlois from the Newcastle Jets to champion the use of the video across all sporting codes and community groups.

“It only takes five minutes out of your day every three months to check your skin,” Pat said.

“With melanoma being the most common cancer for people aged between 15 and 39, I think everyone can add it to their routine. I know I will be.”

IMAGE | Hunter Melanoma Foundation Committee for 2020

Hunter Melanoma Foundation

The Hunter Melanoma Foundation (HMF), an incorporated charity, was formed in the mid 1980’s by patients of the Newcastle Melanoma Unit to raise funds for melanoma in the Hunter Region.

The HMF is proud of its achievements over the past 30+ years and with the support of the local community will continue to work towards not only finding a cure for melanoma but greatly reducing the incidence of melanoma in our region. The only funds we receive are from donations and our own fundraising events so the local community’s support is vital for the HMF to continue towards this goal.

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