Tache, caterpillar, face furniture, crumb catcher, lip rug… there are many alternative names for a moustache but the Movember initiative has to be one of the best uses of facial hair for raising money and awareness for a charitable activity.
Movember is, of course, an amalgam of the words “moustache” and “November”. Every year in the 11th month, men grow moustaches to raise funds and increase awareness of prostate cancer and other issues that particularly affect men’s physical and mental health.
Now there is a new initiative from the Movember Foundation, called MOVE. This encourages individuals to sign up and carry out some kind of activity that gets them moving every day in November, while raising money for men’s health issues.
HOW DID MOVEMBER COME ABOUT?
Movember is an initiative of the global charity, the Movember Foundation. This is an organisation “committed to men living happier, healthier, longer lives”. It was started in 2003 by two Australians, officially launched in the UK in 2007, and soon grew into a worldwide phenomenon.
On average, across the world, men die six years earlier than women and the World Health Organisation estimates that 510,000 men die from taking their own lives each year.
Since 2003, over £400m has been raised to fund more than 1,000 programmes focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity.
WHAT CAN I DO FOR MOVEMBER?
As the Movember website says “no MOVE is too big or too small” whether it’s walking to work instead of driving, going on a bike ride or even playing a game of ping pong. Or why not take the plunge and join a sports team or start working with a personal trainer.
Most people could benefit from doing a little more exercise – as the MOVEmber team says: “moving on a regular basis can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer by up to 50%”. (See our blogs on Personal Training – Diabetes, Obesity and diabetes – the effects of a high carb/fat diet and Couch to 5K.) Exercise is also beneficial for mental health (see our blog on Exercise and mental health).
WHAT ABOUT WOMEN?
Movember and MOVEmber are open to all, including Mo Sistas. Up to now, Mo Sistas have supported their Mo Bros with their fundraising – with MOVE, they can join in with the initiative by signing up on the website and getting moving for MOVEmber. (See our blog on The benefits of strength training for women).
WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE?
The UK website where you can sign up for MOVE can be found at: https://uk.movember.com. Alternatively you can call The Movember Foundation on 020 7952 2060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.