Thousands of schoolchildren in North West given free suncream

Video report by ITV News' journalist Tim Scott.

Thousands of schoolchildren are being given free suncream to teach them a valuable lesson in protecting themselves from getting burned.

The campaign aims to ensure all kids in the UK have access to sun protection and is backed by Strictly Come Dancing's Tara Tointon, presenter Nicki Chapman and cyclist Geraint Thomas.

Skin cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the UK, with research showing that just one blistering sunburn in childhood more than doubles the chances of developing melanoma in later life.

Thousands of schoolchildren given suncream as part of a campaign. Credit: PA images

The not-for-profit campaign, organised by online retailer, is aiming to donate 30,000 bottles of sunscreen to children across the country.

The beauty company say they want to make sure families have access to high sun protection. CEO and Founder Rakesh Aggarwal has organised the campaign, and he said: "It's vital for their health that they're protected from the sun, and with the summer coming up, children will want to get out and enjoy their holidays.

"They should be able to do so without the fear of getting sunburn which can seriously increase their chances of getting skin cancer in later life.

"That is why we will give over 30,000 sunscreens to children this summer."

Research shows some Britons are avoiding sunscreen due to its cost. Credit: PA images

She added: "We are looking to grow each year to ensure that all children in the UK will eventually have access to sun protection."

Caroline Hirons, skincare expert, said: "Skin cancer is very real, extremely dangerous and on the increase - that's why I'm supporting the UK #SunPoverty campaign.

"This campaign is incredibly important because 80% of sun damage happens before the age of 18.

"Escentual's initiative to abolish VAT on children's sun cream, educate young people on sun safety, and donate thousands of broad-spectrum SPF50+ to children is an excellent idea."

The campaign is also supported by actress Kara Tointon, from west London, who has two sons under three years old. She said: "It's so important to keep children protected from the sun with good quality high factor sun cream.

"Skin cancer is a growing problem in the UK, and that's why I always keep my two little ones well covered in lotion at all times.

"That's why I'm supporting the @escentual #SunPoverty campaign, which is providing free sun creams for primary school children on free school meals so that all children can have access to adequate sun protection."

The factor 50 sunscreen comes in an easy to use bottle which the child can write their name on and has a handy clip that attaches to a belt loop or bag strap.

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