Have you walked across campus and noticed previously clean shaven men allowing their facial hair to grow? Welcome to Movember.
Every November, men across the globe have decided to make a conscious decision to grow their moustache as a tribute to a worldwide campaign called Movember. The idea behind the movement is that men who would normally not grow their facial hair would be sponsored to do so to raise money for men’s health. The movement, run by the Movember Foundation, focuses on raising awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, men’s mental health, and suicide prevention.
“Men are dying too young. We cannot afford to stay silent,” is the mission statement adopted by the movement.
Since its start in 2003, the foundation has funded more than one thousand men’s health projects around the world. By 2030, they aim to reduce the number of premature male deaths by 25%. Over five million men and women, also known lovingly by the charity as “mo bros and mo sistas,” have been part of the event since its inaugural year.
Due to its focus on building relationships for a better quality of life for men, the movement has garnered support from various well-known figures such as New Zealand’s rugby captain Richie McCaw, Today sports presenter Cameron Williams and Stephen Fry.
Movember’s Global Marketing Director Paul Mitcheson said that the success of the movement is due to the campaign’s “intrinsic ability to encourage creativity.” Today, the rise in social media has sky-rocketed their movement in unpreceded levels. Through social media, Movember has become a visual campaign, with men encouraged to photograph their moustaches online and create a personalized digital fundraising platform.
In 2018, the movement introduced ‘Move’ – a program that challenged women, who felt underserved in Movember, to run or walk for 60 kilometers. Not only did ‘Move’ help break down gender boundaries and get women and men active, but the movement also took their stance on physical activity and its benefits connected to mental health.
Like ‘Move,’ ‘Host,’ another one of the Movember foundation’s initiatives, took shape from community feedback on Movember. Through ‘Host,’ men and women can host events that raise money for men’s health.
The effect of these programs led to a staggering fundraising outcome of over £550 million in more than 20 countries.
To support Movember and men’s health, the University of East Anglia is hosting the following activities:
Movember Miles: Equivalent to ‘Move,’ the University hosts a free, no booking necessary, 5k run every Tuesday and Thursday from the Sportspark.
Male, Female, and Non-Binary Mental Health Training: These sessions run on Mondays (18/11) and (25/11) and Wednesday (28/11) and are aimed to engage clubs and societies to reduce the stigma around talking about mental health through equipping them with signposts for students needing assistance.
Movember Yoga: On November 15, the Yoga club is planning on hosting a yoga class that supports men’s health charity.
Netball and Pool Tournaments.
More events are posted on the uea(su)’s website for those interested. Show your support for the cause by attending one or all of their events! Last year, the University raised over £7,500 as a result of Movember.