By Harvey Stevens
If you’ve seen some less-than-impressive moustaches walking around Durham during the past week or so, there is a very good reason why. Just like every year in recent times, Durham University sports clubs are coming together to support Movember.
The charity encourages men of all ages to grow out their taches in order to raise funds and awareness for a range of men’s health issues. Their goal is to alter the stigma surrounding men’s mental health, testicular cancer and prostate cancer. By 2030 they aim to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%.
Donations go towards funding innovative testing and treatment for prostate and testicular cancer, as well as establishing crucial community-led mental health projects. A huge part of the movement is the work done to get men talking about their mental health. Far too many men suffer in silence and do not reach out to get the help which they may need. After the difficult times which we have all faced during the past eighteen months, this seems more important than ever.
So those who are growing their upper lip hair out and raising money are helping to change this. Last year, teams at Durham raised a combined £61,000 for Movember. They are looking to smash this number this time around with no lockdown hindering the amount of in-person donations.
Durham University Rugby Club has been a big supporter of the movement. Club captain, Rhys Belcher, told Palatinate just how important the initiative is for them. “Movember holds a special place within the rugby club.
“With over 180 current playing members and tens of thousands of alumni we are an organisation full of men who could be affected by the causes that the Movember organisation seeks to support.
“The epidemic of male suicide and the lack of mental health support for men is something that we are very aware of and want to change.”
The club raised over £9,000 last year, and they are similarly looking to mount together their highest ever total.
“DURFC seek to do all they can to make sure that our brothers, fathers and friends do not suffer in silence and we will do all we can to lead Durham University in raising as much money as possible for the charity.”
The difference between last year’s effort, and this year, is that sports clubs are now in a position to raise money through events. Collingwood College Football Club made their floodlit fixture vs St. Mary’s in aid of Movember, and others have followed suit.
The Combined St John’s and St Chad’s Rugby Club made their first game of the season in aid of Movember, and captain Samuel Simkin spoke of how important it is. “It’s so vital that the club come together in support of such a great cause,” he told us. “By getting our members talking about their mental health it makes such a difference, and ensures that none of us will suffer in silence.”
You can expect plenty more bushy, and some not-so-bushy, moustaches to be springing up in Durham over the coming weeks. If you can, make sure to donate to some of those raising money for Movember to help support the amazing work they do.
Image: Durham University Rugby Club