A new initiative is being launched this month to increase cancer awareness across South Yorkshire.

Be Cancer Safe is a community approach to improving cancer survival in South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire.

The aim is to make everyone aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer, and what screening is available. This will hopefully increase the number of people diagnosed at an earlier stage. This will be achieved through a range of community based activities and initiatives.

The movement is being coordinated by South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire Cancer Alliance. They are part of Health and Care Working Together in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, delivered in partnership with community organisations.

Julia Jessop, South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire Cancer Alliance Programme Director, said:

“In South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire we have more people diagnosed with cancer than the England average. We want to change this and work together with our communities to make South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire cancer safe.

“We know that historically, some groups in our community are less likely to attend screening than others, and through Be Cancer Safe activities and initiatives, we aim to make sure everyone is aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer and the screening available. Detecting cancers earlier greatly increases the chance of survival.”

The following organisations will be working in conjunction with local health and social care, charitable and voluntary organisations to deliver activities across South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire. Voluntary Action Rotherham in Rotherham and Barnsley; Aurora Wellbeing Centres in Bassetlaw; Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust in Doncaster; Sheffield Local Authority in Sheffield and Derbyshire Voluntary Action in North Derbyshire and Hardwick.

How to get involved

Ordinary members of the community can get involved and be supported to raise awareness with their family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues.

They will do this by word of mouth, distribution of information and signposting people to the range of services available to them. They will assist in giving information which is beneficial to others, motivate people to be more aware and alert to cancer symptoms and seek early medical assistance.

If you are interested in getting involved in the Be Cancer Safe social movement email sheffieldccg.sybndcanceralliance@nhs.net with your name, the area you live in and your contact details or join their Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/BeCancerSafe/about/.