These Wearside women are determined beat cancer - and are now in line for an award as well

The fight against skin cancer is being waged by a growing Wearside cause – and now it is in the running for honours.

Wednesday, 26th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 27th February 2020, 2:03 pm
Elaine Taylor and Kerry Rafferty from Melanoma-ME which has been nominated for a Best of Wearside Award.

Melanoma-Me has been nominated for a Best of Wearside Award for its determined campaigning to raise awareness.

Melanoma is a fast growing cancer that begins on the skin and easily spreads to organs.

But the Washington-based group is making a difference an has been responsible for 41 melanomas being diagnosed early.

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The Best of Wearside Awards 2020.

Its founders are Kerry Rafferty and Elaine Taylor and they formed Melanoma-Me after Kerry fought melanoma herself five years ago.

But the group is not just about helping to identify cases. It is also about awareness and education and the foundation provides counselling to people affected by melanoma and skin cancer (both patients and loved ones.)

The group also delivers training to people who can help identify melanoma early such as health care professionals and those who work within the beauty and wellbeing industry.

Every year, Melanoma-ME also holds a ball in memory of Amanda Seymour who was a great ambassador for the charity.

Tragically, she died in 2017 after her own fight with skin cancer.

Kerry said the award nomination was “great for the charity to get some recognition for the work that we do.

“It helps to access other people as well and they will know more about who we are and what we do.”

If the foundation did win the award, Kerry said: “I would be absolutely buzzing.”

Melanoma-Me joins a great list of nominations for this year’s competition but we want more.

This year’s competition has backing from headline sponsor BGL, partner sponsor Utility Alliance, partner sponsor Gentoo, and category sponsors Marelli and the North East Autism Society.

We thank them all for getting on board, and now comes your turn to get involved.

We hope you will inundate us with entries and make the job of the judges that much harder.

Take a look at the categories, read the entry instructions, and your favourite cause will be a step closer to hopefully winning a Best of Wearside title.


Community Group of the Year; Student of the Year; Green Champion of the Year; Child of Courage; Child of Achievement; Young Voice of Wearside; Fundraiser of the Year; Volunteer of the Year; Sporting Achievement of the Year; Community Champion Award.


To nominate, just send your name, address and telephone number, as well as your email address, if applicable. Remember to include the category you are putting your nominated cause into.

Also send the name of the person you wish to nominate, along with their address, telephone number and email (if known).

Send all of that to Lynn Wild by no later than March 2. Judging of all the entries will be held that same week with the finale at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday, April 1.

There are three ways to nominate.

l Email those entries to [email protected]

l Post them to Lynn Wild, North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), Wearfield Enterprise Park East, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR5 2TA.

l Visit the website at