The UK’s fastest-growing women’s friendship network, the City Girl Network – founded by Pippa Moyle, who grew up in Milton Keynes – has today launched its #OwnYourSmear campaign to mark Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month.
Pippa and her sister, Charlotte Moyle, who created the MK Girl branch in 2020, are leading a campaign encouraging people across the country to talk about their experiences of Smear Tests.They’re also working with a small independent group of medical professionals to answer any questions people may have about the test itself.
Every five minutes, someone will be diagnosed with one of five gynaecological cancers and over 33,000 will die from a gynecologic cancer this year, according to the Foundation for Women’s Cancer. For Cervical Cancer, 99.8% of cases are preventable through early detection of a smear test (Cancer Research UK, 2015).
The pandemic saw a drop in cervical screening and nearly 20,000 less referrals for a colposcopy. Whilst the restrictions created a barrier for testing during that time, the City Girl Network has noticed a rise in anxiety over booking smear tests.
The campaign will see a small group of independent medical professionals from their Bristol Girl Network answering questions people may have about cervical screening tests. The questions can be submitted anonymously through the City Girl Network website and the answers will be shared on social media.
They are also encouraging people to share their own smear test experiences on social media with a selfie of a peach, using the hashtag #OwnYourSmear. It’s already had support from local influencers such as Liz Editorial, who is encouraging her followers to take part.
Founder of the City Girl Network, Pippa Moyle said: “I’ve seen a number of our members battle with and survive Cervical Cancer over the years, all saved by an early detection through their smear test. Yet, over the last year or so, I’ve noticed a growing anxiety over having the smear test. A lot of it is due a lack of education causing irrational fear. We want to empower people to speak up, ask questions and own your smear.”
Pippa, who went to Shenley Brook End Secondary School, continues: “I’m so excited to see my home city get behind this important campaign. I’ve loved working with my sister to grow the MK Girl community and am excited for it to grow to the next level over the coming year.”
The City Girl Network has over 20 cities nationwide with nearly 100,000 members, with nearly 4,000 in MK across Facebook and Instagram. Their mission is to help City Girls find friends, business connections, housemates, travel companions and things to do in their city through regular events, social media and an online magazine.
For more information about their campaign, visit citygirlnetwork.com/ownyoursmear.