A Shropshire based hairdresser is calling for others to join a thriving initiative to promote early cancer diagnosis.

Sarah Morris, from Shrewsbury, recently trained as a Cancer Champion and recognised the value in other hairdressers and barbers getting involved as it fits in so well with their role.

NHS Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin has partnered with Lingen Davies Cancer Fund and Qube to deliver the Cancer Champions project – part of a national NHS England drive to encourage cancer screening uptake and early diagnosis.

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, owner of Meraki Hair and Beauty in Shrewsbury 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 a 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 space 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, 29th January. 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.

Pictured: Sarah Morris, owner of Meraki Hair & Beauty, and Miranda Ashwell from Lingen Davies.