Students launch first University Movember campaign

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Two Durham students are planning to launch a University-wide ‘Movember’ campaign.

Movember is the leading global men’s health charity, raising money to fund various projects. The charity aims to tackle mental health, testicular and prostate cancer, and suicide prevention.

The campaign is being led by ambassadors Thomas Carr and Ed O’Callaghan who plan to encourage friendly rivalry between colleges and sports teams to raise funds on behalf of Durham University.

Durham itself will then be in competition with universities nationwide in the ‘Big Moustache On Campus Challenge’ to raise as much money for the charity as possible.

Carr notes the competitive nature of the campaign will take advantage of Durham’s competitive spirit “between teams to stoke some really powerful and engaging campaigns which hopefully encourage even more conversations and more donations.”

Carr and O’Callaghan plan to be holding a number of events throughout Michaelmas term.

On the 31st October will be the ‘Great Durham Shave-Off’, where Students and staff are invited to come kickstart Movember by shaving off the stubble to start growing their moustaches.

The 30th November will see a 12-hour rowing marathon for fundraising teams and individuals to compete for a surprise reward for whoever can row the furthest. Following this, the pair aim for the month to round off with a uni-wide celebration with cocktail nights throughout college bars to celebrate their mo-growing achievements and for one final last push at fundraising for this important cause.

The charity promotes a growing movement and message to male students to be more aware about their general wellbeing, and especially mental health. Carr told Palatinate how the “campaign is about encouraging men to have conversations about their health and as Movember put it – ‘be a man of more words’.”

Alarmingly, predictions believe prostate cancer rates will double in the next 15 years. 10th September marked World Suicide Prevention Day. Recent reports show that 75% of suicides are men. Unfortunately, poor mental health leads to 500,000 taking their own life every year, around one every minute.

Alarmingly, predictions believe prostate cancer rates will double in the next 15 years.

The Movember Foundation is actively trying to tackle these alarming statistics through funding programmes and leading experts around the world to collaborate on solutions and directly engaging with men. Their aim is to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25% by 2030. The Foundation is currently funding 1,200 projects worldwide, with their UK base running 46 campaigns all with the similar mindset to directly engage and address men’s mental and physical health.

Durham’s Campaign hopes to bring awareness of this inspiring charity and the issues it addresses to Durham’s male students, whilst raising funds for the Foundation and its programmes.

Carr states to stay tuned @DurhamUniversityMovember on Facebook and @movemberdurham on Instagram to stay updated on more events throughout November and for important material and facts on men’s health.

Photograph: Tom Parnell via Flickr Creative Commons

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