First UK public UV sun meter unveiled in Derby

UV Meter at Markeaton Park
Image caption The meter is designed to advise people on UV levels and what protection they should be taking

The UK's first public UV sun meter has been unveiled in memory of a BBC presenter who died from skin cancer.

The Colin Bloomfield Sun Meter was installed in Markeaton Park, Derby, to measure ultraviolet rays (UV).

The 33-year-old BBC Radio Derby presenter launched an appeal shortly before he died last year to provide UV sun meters in public places.

A second UV meter and sun shade has been planned for West Park, in Long Eaton, Derbyshire, later this summer.

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The sun meter advises people on what action to take depending on the strength of the sun, such as going into the shade or putting on sun cream.

How does the sun meter work?

  • It provides a real-time measurement of the ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun
  • The five coloured indicator lights represent the exposure categories that can affect the skin and indicate the intensity of the UV radiation
  • The green light indicates the lowest UV level and the lowest risk to the skin
  • The purple light indicates the highest UV levels and that UV radiation is too high to be exposed without protection

In 2013, Mr Bloomfield was diagnosed with stage four melanoma and later launched the Colin Bloomfield Melanoma Appeal, raising almost £175,000.

Station listener, John Williams, unveiled the metre and said he was successfully treated for a cancerous mole after hearing Mr Bloomfield's story.

"My melanoma was detected at an early stage, you couldn't get it earlier," Mr Williams said.

"Colin has made a tremendous impact on me... he saved my life.

"I just want to give him a big hug and say thanks."

Colin's Story in his words before he died...

"My melanoma story started when I was 21. A mole on my thigh had changed colour, shape and size. I should have been concerned, but wasn't.

"On New Years Eve 2001, a dermatologist confirmed it was skin cancer. I was terrified. At that age, you're invincible.

Image copyright Derby Telegraph
Image caption Mr Bloomfield spent 10 years at BBC Radio Derby working as a reporter, Derby County commentator and breakfast show presenter

"The cancer was cut out at a hospital. Regular check-ups followed and with no recurrence during five years of visits, I was effectively discharged. My life continued.

"One morning...I woke up to discover a lump under my groin. 10 years after my first visit there, I returned to the hospital.

"I was told the cancer had come back, it was stage four and it was as bad as it could get."

The presenter's appeal was launched in conjunction with Derby Telegraph and charity Skcin, which specialises in skin cancer prevention.

Money raised funded the Sun Safe Schools programme to teach thousands of schoolchildren about sun safety, as well as UV meters and sun shades.

A public sun shade was installed at Alvaston Park, in Derby, in April.

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