Since its launch in 2016, more than 370 garden centres, nine leading gardeners and six major horticultural organisations have supported Watch Your Back!, a sun protection campaign for gardeners devised by the Melanoma Fund. This year, with the additional backing of the HTA and GIMA, the charity aims to seed sun protection deeper into horticulture, inviting garden centres, nurseries, and landscapers to become Sun Protection Accredited.
Getting accredited is free, open to all in the industry and can be achieved by implementing five pledges, designed to keep customers and staff aware of the risks of skin cancer, with timely reminders and advice, designed to educate, and improve sun protection behaviour. Involvement can enhance existing advice, or be implemented as a stand-alone resource. Accreditation can be achieved from 3 May, by visiting melanoma-fund.co.uk/watch-your-back and then pledging the following actions.
- Appoint a ‘sun pro advisor’ to review, distribute and monitor the campaign.
- Add a sun protection statement to staff ‘health and safety regulations.
- Display awareness posters and share sun protection tips and skin cancer facts.
- Consider making sunscreen freely available in dispensers for staff, and retail for customers/visitors.
- Display the accreditation logo and certificate and promote the Watch Your Back! campaign on websites and socials.
“I urge all garden centres and nurseries to get involved, as together we can really punch home the fact that skin cancer is avoidable, but only if we take sun protection seriously.”Mark Lane
To support and encourage the availability of sunscreen, the Melanoma Fund has partnered with Lee Brothers to offer refillable sunscreen dispensers and 100ml bottles of Stokoderm SPF30/50 in an exclusive deal for Sun Protection Accredited members. There are no minimum orders or delivery charges, and for every unit sold, a donation will be made to the charity, to keep the campaign expanding.
Says David Stevens: “Having been an international garden designer for the past 50 years, I’ve spent most of my working life outdoors, suffering preventable sun damage as a result. Therefore, I support the Watch Your Back! campaign. Sun Protection Accreditation will inspire the industry to work in unity, encourage everyone to cover up and face the risks, at the right time, in the right place.”
Watch Your Back! is partnered with the Horticultural Trades Association, the Garden Centre Association, the Professional Gardeners Guild, the National Allotment Society, the Garden Industry Manufacturers Association, and the Association of Professional Landscapers.
BBC Morning Live gardening presenter Mark Lane says: “I urge all garden centres and nurseries to get involved, as together we can really punch home the fact that skin cancer is avoidable, but only if we take sun protection seriously.”
The new website will launch on the 3 May. For further details contact [email protected].