Awareness Campaign Close-up - Eye cancer group inprofile initiative

Organisation: CHECT Campaign: National Awareness Week for Children With Eye Cancer PR team: In-house Date: 12-18 September Budget: £3,500

CHECT - a charity for children with retinoblastoma, a very rare cancer of the eye - is gearing up for its third awareness week.

A mailout is planned to reach 3,600 opthamologists and other eye practitioners to boost awareness of the condition and CHECT's information support role.

The week kicks off on 12 September and has a different theme to previous years, which have focused on raising awareness among health professionals.

This year the charity is aiming to boost awareness of its own role. The decision follows its name change - CHECT, which stands for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, was formerly the Retinoblastoma Society - that took place last year.

'We try and provide the press with case studies where appropriate. In return, we ask for a sidebar giving contact details and web address, because the mention of the word cancer, particularly in relation to children, causes great anxiety,' said CEO Libby Halford.

The budget for this year's week is £3,500, compared with about £9,000 previously.

The charity is encouraging members to hold coffee mornings or other small events for fundraising, while the week culminates with a gathering of people affected by retinoblastoma at Birmingham Children's Hospital.

More than 95 per cent of children will survive cancer in the eye with treatment. Most need to have an eye removed; some lose both.

For further information contact Libby Halford on 020 7377 5578.

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