Formerly known as the Myfanwy Townsend Melanoma Research Fund

Tag: charity

Have you grown a RIDICULOUSLY big sunflower?  Here is how to enter and our general terms and conditions:

By submitting an entry to this Promotion, entrants agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions:

The Promotion commences at 8.30am on 1st May (“Start Date”) and closes at Noon on 21st September 2018 (“Closing Date”) (being the “competition period”). For the avoidance of doubt, this means that entries must have been received by the Promoter by the close of this period in order to meet the closing date validity requirements.

Once purchased, entries need to be registered before the end of May and results submitted on or before 21st September 2018 (until 12am Midnight).

Entrants must photograph their entry on the Closing Date and email us at to log their entry and demonstrate its height or weight.
Winning plants will be judged in the following way. Tall: Measure from earth to the highest tip of the top petal to where the plant naturally reaches the earth. Big: Cut just behind the head and weigh as requested. We will then get our team to pick out and verify the winning entries for both categories.

The top three entrants in each category will be contacted by phone and we will ask further information in order to verify height and weight etc (This can also be done over the phone or by video).

Entries submitted with incomplete information, or found to contain invalid information shall be deemed invalid entries.

Entry is open to residents of the United Kingdom & the Channel Islands aged 3 and over and all entrants, and their guardians, agree to their photographs being published on the promoter’s website and social media pages.

One entry per person.

To enter, entrants must first register by providing us with their contact details.

The winner will be selected by an independent judge/by a panel that includes at least one independent member, to be held on 30th September 2018.

Details of panel members may be obtained by writing to the Promoter. The judge will assess all valid entries.

The entry that it considers in its subjective opinion/that the majority considers in their subjective opinion to be the tallest or largest (head) sunflower shall be deemed the winning entry (the “Winner”) and receive the Prize/s.

The Winner will be notified of the fact that they have won within 5 days of the Closing Date by [email/telephone/twitter and Facebook. They will then be asked to supply details for delivery of their prize.

The Promoter will use reasonable endeavours to contact the Winner. If a Winner does not respond within 3 calendar months of the first notification, then that individual forfeits the right to claim the Prize.

The Promoter reserves the right to cancel, amend, terminate or temporarily suspend this competition at any time with no liability to any entrant or any third party.


No alternative prizes are available, with the exception that in the event of circumstances outside of its control.

The Promoter and its associated agencies and companies accept no liability for any loss, expense or damage which is suffered or sustained (whether or not arising from any person’s negligence) in connection with the Promotion and/or prizes, other than such liability that cannot be excluded by law including death or personal injury caused by negligence, where liability shall be limited to the minimum permissible by law.

Entrants under the age of 16 must seek the permission of their parent/guardian before entering this Promotion.

If there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a breach of these Terms and Conditions by an entrant, The Promoter may, at its sole discretion invalidate the relevant entry and disqualify the entrant from the Promotion, irrespective of the stage in the Promotion reached.

The Promoter’s decision in all matters relating to the Promotion is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into.
The Winners agree to take part for free in any publicity for the Promotion as requested by the Promoter.

The name of the Winners will be available upon request after the Closing Date in writing to the Promoter.

This Promotion is subject to English Law and the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts. 20 The Promoter is the Melanoma Fund, 6 Manor Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, H19 1LR

Entrants hereby release Facebook and Twitter of all liability that can be excluded under English law.

This Promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Twitter.


If you require help with your entry please email

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by Sophie Mumford, research technician working with Prof Sarah Newbury at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) 4th December 2017


Recent funding from the Melanoma Fund has provided me with the exciting opportunity to work alongside Professor Sarah Newbury and her research team, to check and validate the microRNA biomarkers identified in these initial experiments.

The importance of early detection

Melanoma remains the most aggressive form of skin cancer with an increasing incidence worldwide. Survival rates depend heavily on the stage of disease at the time of diagnosis; when detected in the early non-metastatic stages (I and II), melanoma has good prognosis with a 5-year survival rate of 100% in stage I melanoma patients and 80%-90% in stage II melanoma patients, as thin local tumours are highly curable by surgical resection.

While surgical resection of a non-metastatic melanoma can result in disease-free intervals, recurrence is common often resulting in progression to locally advanced melanoma and subsequently to metastatic melanoma (stages III and IV), and a 5 year survival rate of ~50% in stage III melanoma patients and 10-25% in stage IV melanoma patients (Cancer Research UK).

This presents a pressing need to establish robust biomarkers that:

(1) Allow detection and diagnosis of melanoma in its earliest stages I and II, and

(2) Allow the identification of patients at high risk of metastatic recurrence after surgical resection of a non-metastatic melanoma.

Early detection will maximise the chances of patient survival, as there are now a number of treatment options available that are effective against certain subtypes of stages I, II and III melanoma.

The role of microRNA biomarkers

Circulating microRNAs are emerging as promising non-invasive cancer biomarkers. Previous work carried out at the Blond McIndoe Research Foundation and the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, identified 3 potential microRNA biomarkers that can distinguish Stage I/II from Stage III/IV melanoma, plus three potential reference controls.


Our progress

Since our previous report, I have analysed all of the data obtained from the 474 qRT-PCR assays quantifying the relative levels of the three potential biomarkers in RNA extracted from the serum of 20 healthy, 20 stage I/II and 20 stage III/IV donors. I re-extracted RNA from the same patient serum samples using a different miRNA extraction kit, and repeated the qRT-PCR assays to assess whether the RNA extraction method influences the detection of these specific microRNAs from our samples.

Additionally, I added the C. elegans miR-39 spike-in to control for any inconsistencies in the extraction efficiency between samples. I re-analysed the initial Exiqon microRNA Array data obtained at the beginning of this project and identified two additional potential biomarkers. I have analysed the levels of these two microRNAs between our three patient groups, again using qRT-PCR against the RNA extracted using both extraction kits.

Next steps

I am currently in the process of reviewing the literature on circulating microRNA biomarkers in melanoma, and the limitations of the circulating microRNA biomarker detection and analysis methods. I have designed a spreadsheet to document the microRNAs identified in these papers, as well as the detection and analysis methods used.

The information that I collect will be used to inform the introduction and/or the discussion in our publication. To assess the extraction efficiency of the two miRNA extraction kits used, I will collect serum from healthy donors, add the C.elegans miR-39 spike-in control and run an equal volume of each sample through each kit, followed by comparison using qRT-PCR.


Therefore we will obtain information on the consistency of the two RNA extraction used, which will be very useful for our further work and for other researchers in the field. The data for this experiment will be included in the publication we are currently preparing.

For further information on this report and the  relevant melanoma research work contained herein please contact Sarah Newbury at


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A new survey reveals that although sunburn can triple the chance of melanoma, kids are still seeing red.


Last week, the Sainsbury’s 2015 School Games in Manchester saw 1,600 of the UK’s top young athletes come together and celebrate their sporting talents. This fantastic event was the perfect platform for Michelle Baker from the Melanoma Fund to promote the Outdoor Kids Sun Safety Code, an initiative that encourages kids to get outdoors, but stay sun protected.

 Sunburn is Still Winning

116During the four- day event, the charity surveyed nearly 900 young competitors, volunteers and spectators, ranging from age 6 to 18 and reveals that although an encouraging 90% understood that sunburn is dangerous, only 2% had heard of melanoma; the most dangerous and fastest growing type of skin cancer. With many joking that the sun was ‘hardly hot enough this year to do damage’, over 48% of kids admitted to having sunburn at least once this summer.

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By Nigel Smith

I finally arrive in Hell!

During an idle conversation with my very good friend Robin Seymour, he casually mentions that on his ‘bucket list’ is a gentle ride on the Harley to the top of Norway to visit Nordkapp, making the most of the 24 hour daylight during summer. This seemed like a good idea, so inspired, I sign up to the trip along with some other Harley riders.

After committing Robin tells me it’s not the gentle ‘bimble’ I am imagining, but a full on ‘endurance ride’ covering 5000 miles in only ten days (ask any motorcyclist and they would probably tell you that’s quite a ride.) I comfort myself positioning it in my head as an ‘epic adventure’ and the chance to hopefully raise a few pounds for a worthwhile cause.

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Hello to you all. We hope you are refreshed after the Christmas break and that 2014 has started well. We have recently been hearing from lots of you with the various events and challenges you have been doing and have planned this year, on behalf of the charity.

To inspire you we would like to share these updates with you. From cake baking to selling signed kit to riding across Norway on a Harley Davidson, the fantastic effort and thought is very appreciated and as such we would like to thank each an every one choosing us as their charity of choice.

The supporters of Leeds United Football Club have donated a further £265.00 from the sale of signed merchandise. Thanks to the management team for their continued support.


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