Tahmoor's Jay Allen continues campaign against commercial solariums

Tahmoor resident and melanoma survivor Jay Allen has returned to Australia after campaigning against commercial sunbeds in the UK.
Tahmoor resident and melanoma survivor Jay Allen has returned to Australia after campaigning against commercial sunbeds in the UK.

Jay Allen has taken his fight against commercial solariums overseas.

After successfully helping to get commercial sunbeds banned in Australia, the Tahmoor resident and melanoma survivor has now taken his fight to the UK.

A study by Sun Smart Australia found people who used a solarium before the age of 35 had a 59 per cent greater risk of developing melanoma.

Mr Allen is well known in the Macarthur region for his tireless work campaigning for melanoma research.

He recently spent time in Manchester and Liverpool teaming up with Melanoma UK for the anti-solarium campaign.

Mr Allen’s work representing the Melanoma Institute Australia included lobbying Great Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.

He also spent time spreading awareness to UK residents of the melanoma risks sunbeds pose.

The former Bradbury local said the UK campaign had proved a success, but a lot more work needed to be done.

“We’ve got a petition [against solariums] started in the UK and we already have almost 5000 signatures,” Mr Allen said.

“We were on the streets asking people how much they knew about commercial solariums.

“Many people still had no idea of the dangers involved. There are so many sunbed businesses over in the UK.”

Mr Allen worked alongside Melanoma UK chief executive Gillian Nuttall.

The pair met in Australia when Mr Allen was diagnosed with melanoma in 2008.

Mr Allen pledged to go over to the UK and assist with spreading awareness about melanoma risks.

Ten years later, that promise began a reality.

“If we can save one life, it's all worth it,” he said.

Mr Allen began representing Melanoma Institute Australia in 2011.

He played an active role in getting sunbeds banned in NSW three years later.

Mr Allen then assisted in a bigger campaign to get commercial solariums banned across Australia.

Commercial sunbeds are now illegal in all states except the Northern Territory, which have no solariums operating.

Mr Allen said he had received great support from the Melanoma Intitute.

He said it was “greatly satisfying” to see solariums banned in Australia.

“It wasn’t about stopping business, it was about saving people’s lives.”