Not only is it November but it’s also Movember, the month when strange growths start appearing below the noses of usually clean-shaven men!
This year, Practice Plan graphic designer, Daniel Roberts, along with his football teammates at Rhos Aelwyd FC, will be putting aside his razor and growing a mo (moustache) in support of Movember. They’ll be taking regular progress photos to update their family and friends on their growth!
Although the team had discussed the idea of taking part in Movember it was some gentle encouragement from Dan that spurred them on to sign up. “I’d thought about getting involved with Movember but hadn’t done anything about it until it was suggested to me at work. I signed up and the rest of the football team agreed to get involved as well.”
Having always been clean shaven, Dan sees Movember as an opportunity to try out a new look as well as raising funds and awareness. “I have never grown a moustache or a beard before so I’m quite curious to see how it will turn out,” Dan confesses. “Who knows? I might like the new look and decide to keep it!”
Despite the fact that beard growth is a matter of genetics and hormones Dan does have a particular target in mind for his tache: “I will be happy with however my tache turns out as long as it isn’t the least impressive in the team!” he adds. “Nobody wants to be the one with the weediest end result!”
As well as being an event, Movember is also a charity promoting men’s health. The idea for Movember was born in Australia in 2003 as a tie-in for breast cancer awareness month. Since then, more than 6 million people, both men and women, have become involved as Mo bros and Mo sisters, as they’re called.
Movember aims to raise awareness of men’s health issues and focuses on three themes: testicular cancer, prostate cancer and suicide prevention. For each of these three, early intervention can improve people’s prospects of survival. Caught early, testicular cancer can achieve a survival rate of 95%. Sadly, younger men are more at risk from testicular cancer. For this reason, men should check their testicles regularly and take notice of any changes. The best time to do this is in a warm shower. Most lumps turn out NOT to be cancer, but if you do find one, it’s safest to get in touch with your GP so it can be checked.
Prostate cancer typically affects older men. There are nearly 11 million men around the world living with prostate cancer. Men 50+ should get their prostate checked by their GP. However, if there’s a family history of prostate cancer, then they should ask to be checked from the age of 45.
The figures on male suicide are possibly the most shocking, however. Around the world, 60 men per hour take their own lives, which is one man every minute. Currently, men on average die five years earlier than women. Movember’s aim is to achieve a 25% reduction in premature deaths for men by 2030.
Not just for bros
Although aimed at raising awareness of men’s health issues, women are encouraged to get involved too. Regional Support Manager, Sarah Barnard, has answered the call and is taking part in Movember’s Move for Mental Health event. To commemorate the 60 men per hour who lose their lives to suicide, she’s pledged to run 60km during the month of November.
Although he’ll be grateful for any donations, Dan’s primary aim is to raise awareness. “I know men need to get better at looking after their own health,” he explains,” so if me growing a moustache encourages people to talk about the subject maybe it’ll help to raise awareness and at least some men will start to take some steps to take care of themselves better.”
To support Dan, you can donate here
To find out more about Movember and how you can get involved, visit the website