A CHILDMINDER is offering one hour’s worth of free childcare for busy mums to have their smear test.
Catherine Marsay, from Billingham, Durham, runs a childminding service and is offering her services to stressed-out mums who can’t find a moment for themselves.
The 33-year-old posted her generous offer on social media, where she said the response has been overwhelming and people have branded her a ‘legend’.
Speaking to Fabulous, the mum-of-two said she was inspired by seeing something similar on other parenting forums, and wanted to help as well.
She said: “I saw it on a forum for childminders and thought amazing idea I’d love to offer that.
“I’ve had family members have scares following smear tests that ended in surgery so I know how worrying that time can be.”
Inspired by her offer – which she is running indefinitely – she said some mums have already booked their smears.
Mum to Bethany, five, and Jack, two, who she shares with husband Kris, 38, she added: “My post had so many views and shares and the comments from my friends family and complete strangers have blown me away.
“I’ve had messages from people sharing their stories and a couple of people even called their doctors today to get booked in.”
Part of Over The Rainbow Childminding, Catherine posted on Facebook: “Smear test screenings are at an all time low, for whatever reason women are choosing not to go.
You can help us spread the message by joining in on social.
We’re asking women to share a photo with a pair of knickers and the hashtag #CheersForSmears tagging the women they love in their life, to remind them to get tested on time.
Cervical screenings save 5,000 lives every year – but let’s make that number higher!
Please make sure to also tag @fabulousmag and the charity Jo’s Trust (Twitter: @jotrust, Insta/FB: @joscervicalcancertrust)
“Yes it’s not pleasant, it’s uncomfortable….but so is cancer and all it’s symptoms.
“So, with that in mind, I am offering to provide FREE childcare for a one off session of 1 hour so that all you Mams out there can go and get it done.
“Here at Over the Rainbow I am pretty much to full capacity but I’ll try my very best to make it work!
“Get your smears booked, a child needs their Mammy and now you’ve no excuse not to go!”
People have praised her thoughtful act on social media, commenting: “What a lovely thing to do!”
Another wrote: “You’re an amazing human being.”
A third said: “You truly are a legend.”
There was a huge surge in women going for their test in 2009, after reality TV star Jade Goody died from cervical cancer, aged just 27.
But over the years figures have dipped, and one in five women are currently overdue their smear test.
Research from cervical cancer charity Jo’s Trust revealed convenient appointments were a key reason women didn’t make their tests.
Data shows that a staggering 35% wouldn’t attend their smear if they had to take time off work.
And a further 26% say it’s too hard to make appointments fit in with their busy lifestyles – citing issues such as childcare.
Women in the Billingham area can take advantage of Catherine’s offer by messaging her directly on social media.
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