Every November, a band of perfectly ordinary men take on the brave task of Movember: growing a moustache for charity in a bid to raise awareness about men's health - prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health issues such as depression.
Like breast cancer awareness, it's a global movement.
But where did Movember begin?
It started in Melbourne, Australia 10 years ago, when a group of friends decided to revive an old fashioned trend - the moustache.
30 guys took part just to see what would happen, and when they realised how much fun it was, they started raising money the next year, starting by raising awareness for prostate cancer. In 2004, the event grew to 450 participants and together they raised a whopping $43,000 (around £25K.
But that figure pales into comparison when taking into account what it had grown into by 2012. By this time, Movember had become a fully-fledged annual event, taking part in 21 countries and over £92 million (that's 154 million Australian dollars).
Why should I do it?
- 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year
- Suicide is the single most common cause of death in men under 35
- In the UK, 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer at some stage in their lives
- A man will die from prostate cancer every hour - more than 10,000 men will die of the disease this year in the UK
- African Caribbean men are three times more likely to develop prostate cancer.
- You are 2.5 times more likely to develop prostate cancer if your father or brother has had it
- Occurrences of prostate cancer in men are comparable to the rates of breast cancer in women
- 2,209 men in the UK were diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2009
- 47% of testicular cancer cases occur in men under 35 years and over 90% occur in men under 55 years
- Movember is about real men growing real moustaches and talking about real issues
- The Moustache is a ribbon for men’s health
- Movember's vision is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health
- Mo Bros sporting upper lip hair effectively become walking talking billboards for the 30 days of Movember raising funds and much needed awareness around the often ignored issues of men’s health
- Mo Bros start the month clean shaven, then grow and groom their moustache all month long
Mr Mo - the first character to be created in four years by Adam Hargreaves, son of creator Roger, specially for Movember
How do I get involved?
The first thing you need to do is register. Once on the site, you can decide whether you're working alone, or whether you want to team up or join another 'pack'.
Once you've registered, it's up to you as to how you want to get involved. Some take part in the Edinburgh 10's rugby tournament or attend Sandown Park Gentleman's Day. Others hold their own events - from raffles to golf days, surf contests to battle of the bands. You'll then be sent a party planning pack from Movember. If you don't want to hold your own event, you can take part in Mo Running (a massive run of men and women - who are called Mo Sistas) and a whole roster of parties can be found on the website.
Where does the money go?
- Funds raised around the world are directed to our programmes, which are shaped by our vision to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health
- The programmes are delivered by the Movember Foundation and our men’s health partners in each country
What are the rules?
Sadly no beards.
1) Once registered, each participant must begin the 1st of November with a clean shaven face.
2) You must grow and groom a moustache for the whole month.
3) You cannot have a beard - which means no joining your sideburns to your beard.
4) Nor can you join your chin to your handlebars.
The brilliance of Movember is that it's very strong on community. Even if you don't know anyone else who is doing it, you can join in the events and parties, makes new mates and widen your social circle. Plus, they've got a fantastic app that connects you with what everyone else around the world is doing too. Download it here.
To download Mr Mo, the e-book, visit Amazon. Priced £3, Mr Men will donate 60p from the sale of each book to Movember.
If you're taking part in Movember 2013 and have a story you'd like to share with us, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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