A CHILDMINDER is set to give one hour of free childcare to allow mums to attend a cervical cancer screening appointment.

Eileen Connaughton-McCarthy, 49, from Prestwick has signed up to the new campaign urging child carers to help mums get the smear test.

The drive was launched by the UK’s largest childcare website, where thousands of childminders, babysitters and nannies post their services.

Eileen who is a member of Childcare UK told the Ayr Advertiser: “I think it’s a fantastic idea.

“I would encourage other childcares to get involved.

“I’ve already got kids so why not take on an extra one, so a mum can go and get a potentially life-saving smear?”

Eileen knows first hand the pressures of being a mum and having to fit in appointments in a busy schedule.

Although the test can only take five minutes, she understands how some mums can struggle to fit it an appointment in.

She added: “I know how difficult it was getting in for a smear test when I had younger kids. Having to rely on people to look after them.

“Some people might say that their kids can just come along with me, but not all kids are going to sit quietly while you go behind the curtain.

“Some kids are quite boisterous you know running about, playing peek a boo, you don’t want that when you are going for a serious appointment.”

It would not be the first time that Eileen has shown her passion for helping others.

In 2014 she was awarded an MBE by Prince Charles for helping to raise one million for the Whitely’s retreat which she helped set up with her friends.

Her son, Ross was diagnosed with cancer when he was 11 months old. He spent a year battling the illness which saw him have major surgery to remove two tumours and one and a half kidneys. He was given the all clear just before he turned two and survives with half a kidney, now at the age of 16.

“He’s my inspiration for what I do. When he went into remission I had to get a job where I could be home for Ross and childminding was ideal.

“I have helped other mums out before who went through what I did, so I think this is another fantastic chance to help out.”