Thursday 10th September 2015
The fundraising total inspired by remarkable teenager Stephen Sutton MBE has now reached a staggering £5,535,948.35, after 'Skydive for Stephen' raised £264,065.33.
The skydive, which took place at Hibaldstow Airfield in Lincolnshire on 10 July 2015, smashed the Guinness World Record™ and raised funds which will now be used to increase and develop cancer education and awareness.
Making up the group of 403 thrill-seeking fundraisers were Stephen's mum Jane Sutton, his brother Chris, his gran Ann, family friend and jump organiser Lee Woodward and hundreds of people who've been inspired by Stephen's Story.
If Stephen could see the enthusiasm he has generated he would be over the moon. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been inspired to fundraise for Teenage Cancer Trust by Stephen.
– Jane Sutton
The money will be used to expand and develop our pioneering education work, which was specifically referenced by the Independent Cancer Taskforce when they called on NHS England and Public Health England to consider rolling out a cancer education programme.
Our programme includes an online hub where teachers can access information and lesson plans about cancer in young people and the importance of healthy living choices. We will also be able to continue delivering free cancer awareness sessions to students in secondary schools and colleges, as well as expanding the service so that we can meet the high demand that we aren't currently able to do.
Our awareness work includes Teenage Cancer Action Week, a campaign running from 28 September to 4 October 2015 to encourage teachers to download a teaching pack and talk to students about the 5 most common signs of cancer and encourage persistence at the doctors if health conditions aren't getting better.
"Stephen was passionate about education," said Jane Sutton. "It is vitally important that young people are taught the signs of cancer at school. Stephen experienced considerable delay being diagnosed with cancer. Who knows what a difference an earlier diagnosis could have made? Unfortunately, this situation is not unique to Stephen and many young people with cancer have similar problems being diagnosed. We must do all we can to stop this happening to others by raising awareness of the common signs in this age group."
Kate Collins, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Teenage Cancer Trust, said: "Before he died, we asked Stephen how he wanted us to spend the money, and he said 'keep on doing what you're doing'. Stephen inspired more people than we will ever know to donate to Teenage Cancer Trust, and shone a bright light on the issue of cancer in young people. We're the only charity doing what we do, and this ongoing support means we can continue to expand our work and get ever closer to helping all the young people who need us."