Movember and why this stuff matters...

Published: 30 November, 2015
Movember and why this stuff matters...

As we approach the end of another November and I am once again sporting a rather fetching (in my eyes) moustache I thought I would put pen to paper to outline why this face fuzz matters.  This is certainly not to prolong my marriage as my Wife hates the look of it and has admitted her heart sinks when she realises it is that time of year again.  So why do tens of thousands of men, all over the world change their morning shaving routines for 30 days in the noble cause of “Movember”.

For me the answer to this is the work of the Movember Foundation (website here), a charity that was established by a group of friends in a bar in Australia in 2003.

The Movember Foundation is, by their own admission, a global charity committed to men living happier, healthier, longer lives.  This charity is unusual in that it seeks to raise awareness of men’s health.  Since its inception millions have participated joining the men’s health movement and to date the Foundation has raised an enormous £402 million and has funded over 1,000 projects focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity.

According to the Movember Foundation’s 2014/15 annual report over £10 million pounds was raised by fundraising activities of “Mo Bros” and “Mo Sistas” in the UK alone from almost 140,000 registered UK participants that by anyone’s standards is astounding.


Neil Cartwright, Simon Coulbeck, Paul Holmes sporting their proud CPG Movember moustaches

My Movember fundraising page is here should readers feel the urge to donate to this great cause.

Ladies are not exempt from participating in this fundraising effort with the Foundations’ introduction of MOVE in Movemeber or “Move”mber which is to undertake physical activity (no move is too big or too small) for the 30 days of the month of Movember.

The work of the Foundation is global and is prioritised into the following four areas of men’s health: -

Prostate Cancer

According to the charity Cancer Research prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK accounting for 25% or one in four cases of cancer.  Even successful treatment of prostate cancer can take its toll on the physical and mental health of those affected.  The aim of the Movember Foundation in respect to prostate cancer is “we are working towards a day where no man dies of prostate cancer” – what an amazing aspiration.

During 2014 alone the Movember Foundation donated almost £13 million pounds to Prostate Cancer UK alone as well as funding a wide range of global initiatives.

Testicular Cancer

According to the NHS, testicular cancer usually affects younger men between the ages of 15 and 49 – and each year in the UK around 2,100 men are diagnosed.  Though treatment for testicular cancer is very effective the incidence rates are increasing worldwide.  The funding from the Movember Foundation is prioritised to:-

  1. Deepen the worldwide scientific understanding of testicular cancer and its treatments and outcomes.
  2. Provide proactive support to men and boys affected by testicular cancer and their families.
  3. Educate men and boys on risk factors and encourage them to seek treatment.

Mental Health

According to the foundation globally, every minute a man dies from suicide.  Regardless of age group men do not recognise when they are experiencing a mental health issue and unfortunately, stereotypical macho attitudes to this illness are killing men.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) mixed anxiety and depression affected an estimated 7 per cent of men, with depression affecting a further 2 per cent

Physical Activity

We all know we need exercise and physical inactivity is a real problem. According to the World Health Organisation it is recognised as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality, causing 3.2 million deaths globally per year.

Regular physical activity like walking, cycling, or participating in sports has enormous benefits for health reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and depression.

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Written by: Neil Cartwright

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