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The taxation of sanitary products in the UK was a hot topic in the media in 2015 with many campaigning for it to be scrapped. The only upside to this controversial tax was the announcement by George Osborne in his 2015 Autumn Statement to use the proceeds of the tax for women's charities.
To our delight in March 2016, we were awarded £650,000 for an innovative Eradicate Cervical Cancer Campaign and we want to tell you about the exciting things this will help us to do.
The Eradicate Cervical Cancer Campaign
3.7 million women are not up to date with, or have not attended cervical screening despite it saving around 5,000 lives in the UK every year. Our vision is to see a future free from cervical cancer and in order to do so we need attendance of screening to increase. This is the basis of our Eradicate Cervical Cancer Campaign.
We know that certain groups of women are highly represented among those not attending their cervical screening, and so a large focus of the campaign is on those groups which include women from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, those from disadvantaged communities, women aged 25-29 and women over 50.
This campaign will run for three years and has four main aims:
1. To improve cervical screening coverage in the UK and for the health outcomes for those diagnosed with cervical cancer to increase
2. To reach over 15,000 people directly across the UK and provide a further 42 million opportunities to see our key messages through awareness programmes.
3. See a 40% increase in awareness of cervical cancer and the role of cervical screening in preventing cervical cancer among the people we engage.
4. Produce an evaluation report that will be widely shared with those involved in the NHS Cervical Screening Programme and other key stakeholders reviewing and critically assessing all of the interventions used during the campaign.
How we're working towards a future free from cervical cancer
With the funding from the Tampon Tax we will be able to amplify our outreach work to directly engage with over 10,000 individuals over a 3 year period. We're recruiting two Outreach Coordinators, based in London and Manchester, who will engage with women and health professionals to increase access to and uptake of cervical screening in the areas.
We're also very excited to be launching our first Roadshow which will see an information bus travelling to 11 UK cities over 14 weeks providing support, advice and information on all aspects of cervical cancer prevention.
Currently one in three women aged 25-29 do not take up their screening invitation, despite cervical cancer being the most common cancer for women under 35. Another aspect of the campaign involves undertaking further research to learn more about the barriers to screening for women in this age group and produce a targeted advertising campaign to engage with them.
We will also be focusing on women over 50, as we have seen cervical screening rates among this age group continue to fall over the past decade and, combined with an aging population, we are looking at an increase in diagnoses and potentially lives lost if we do not reverse this trend. We know the barriers to screening are different across different age groups and the Tampon Tax grant is enabling us to work on a project to reach women in this age group with messaging that has been designed for them.
We’re really excited about the Eradicate Cervical Cancer Campaign and the potential impact it will have on the lives of women across the UK.
If you'd like to get involved with the camapaign email [email protected]