Cancer Focus NI welcomes Health Minister Mike Nesbitt to “Sun Scientist” Session at Kirkinriola Primary School

Earlier today, Health Minister Mike Nesbitt MLA and Cancer Focus Northern Ireland delivered a “sun scientist” session at Kirkinriola Primary School, located just outside Ballymena. This session is designed to help young students learn simultaneously about UV safety and the scientific method. Today’s session came on the heels of May’s Skin Cancer Awareness Month and as the students prepare for their summer holidays.

Speaking at the event, Minister Nesbitt said: “Raising awareness of the dangers of excessive UV exposure is crucial to the prevention of skin cancers. Initiatives like this are an excellent way to educate our children and young people in a fun and engaging way and to empower them to make choices that can help protect their future health. I was delighted to speak to the children here today and to give my support to Cancer Focus NI in their invaluable work at this event.”

Emily McCaffrey, Principal of Kirkinriola Primary School, added: “It was fantastic to have Health Minister Nesbitt join us today and prioritise taking care in the sun. It is so important for children to understand the importance of UV safety, especially as many Kirkinriola students are from rural communities, so they spend a lot of time working or playing outside.”

Commenting on the day, Doreen Regan, Skin Cancer Prevention Coordinator at Cancer Focus Northern Ireland, remarked: “It can be so helpful to learn healthy habits at a young age, so we are delighted to be able to teach primary school students about sun safety. With the practical experiments, we hope that the lesson will stay with them – and teach them something about the scientific method! We are especially pleased that Minister Nesbitt could join us today, which shows how important cancer prevention and community engagement are. Thank you so much to Kirkinriola Primary School for hosting us. Especially as a ‘Forest School,’ we are glad to be able to work with teachers and students alike on sun safety tips.”

Reducing exposure from UV rays, including those from the sun, is one of the best ways to protect against skin cancer. Learn more at