SunView is a collaborative project between researchers at Swansea University Medical School, Oriel Science, and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. Complementing the existing SunProofed research project, Sunview consists of an interactive exhibit located at Oriel Science, a free science centre in Swansea city centre, and a corresponding educational school workshop. Funding from RWIF allowed us to purchase a UV camera for the exhibit, which allows visitors to see how sun cream protects their skin from UV light, raising awareness of the need for sun protection.

The exhibit engages both the public and the local community including primary and secondary school children. The corresponding educational workshop educates children about the science behind UV and sun safety. Both children and adults are invited to complete a quiz to capture data on their knowledge of sun safety, research that will be used to help inform future research on sun safety in Wales.

The Oriel Science launch event in early July 2023 hosted 214 visitors from the University and local community. The exhibit has now been open approximately 6 weeks and has been visited by 874 members of the public, many of whom have had their photo taken with our UV camera.

The corresponding SunView schools’ workshop (‘A Ray of Sunshine’) has engaged 116 students from a local primary school through 4 workshops, with 4 more planned. The project team hosted reporters from the BBC who visited the exhibit and had their photo taken with our camera. 

SunView project image of sun damage of lady's face

This resulted in SunView being featured in a BBC Wales interview, broadcast on primetime tv on 20th July 2023, two radio features on BBC Wales Today and BBC Radio Wales, and two corresponding web articles in English and in Welsh, increasing the reach of the exhibit further than originally planned. As a result of the research team attending a well-being Day at a local comprehensive school with a camera to demonstrate the result of sun damage, the pupils were surprised at the condition of their skin, especially those who used sun beds in relation to their peers. This feedback will inform further research into sun safety education with a focus on tanning beds. 

SunView is expected to be open to the public for a year, on holidays and term-time weekends. Our quiz will remain open throughout and following the exhibit close we will use data to identify gaps in knowledge to inform future research into sun safety.  We will disseminate findings widely to the public and media and via a peer-reviewed publication.

Building upon the collaboration we have developed with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, we have recently submitted a proposal for future funding looking at sun safety in primary schools. We have included use of the camera as a key part of our proposal. Both Dr Peconi and Dr Fletcher look to explore taking the camera to future public events such as the National Eisteddfod to further engage the public on the importance of wearing sun cream. Through BSc dissertation projects they will invite undergraduate students to contribute to their research in this area.

Meet the project leads