written by Claire Weston
We at Lakeland Kayaks are huge advocates for health and well-being. Through our products and blog posts, we are always looking at promoting the accessibility and education of fitness but more importantly, the health of our community. Through the month of November, we will be releasing a few blog posts talking about the incredible charity work of the movement Movember, and what men’s health means to us.
The Movember campaign is carried out through the whole month of November, and it aims to raise awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer, mental health and suicide, and general wellness. It challenges people across the world to unite in the name of men’s health, taking part in different activities, the most recognisable being moustache growing, to raise funds for the charity.
In this blog post we are going to talk about the Movember charity, it’s goals and achievements. Cue where it started vs how it’s going moment:
The charity has gained momentum in the past few years, becoming a worldwide phenomenon, but did you know its roots date back to suburban Melbourne, 2003? Two young men by the names of Travis Garone and Luke Slattery were chatting about bringing the moustache back into fashion and got a few friends on board in growing one. Taking inspiration from breast cancer awareness movements, they took this idea and made the campaign about prostate cancer and men’s health awareness. They sent around an email and 30 men signed up to pay 10 dollars to grow a ‘stache. By 2007, this rose to a 134, 171 men and women from not only Australia, but New Zealand, Canada, the US, the UK and Spain raising an impressive 21.5 million AUD.
Campaigns expanded across the men’s health board, from what was originally prostate cancer awareness to include varying types of cancers affecting both men AND women, men’s mental health, social isolation prevention and community connection work for men of colour, military members as well as veterans and their families.
It has gained huge recognition throughout the world, from receiving official charity status in Australia 2006, to ranking 49th in top non-governmental organisation's (out of over 5 million) around the world in 2017, based on the three main criteria of impact, innovation and sustainability.
In 2009, through Movember funding, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Centre made a huge breakthrough in its research, when it was able to identify that there are over 25 individual types of prostate cancers. In the same year it also receives official charity status within the US, partnering with LIVESTRONG.
In 2010 Movember launches its first Global Action Plan, created to accelerate prostate cancer research through global information collaboration.
In 2011, the world's first prostate cancer genome mapping project is completed through Movember funding, vastly expanding the knowledge behind how prostate cancer works.
Movember receives Special Force of the Year award from GQ magazine in 2013.
In 2016, Movember in Canada, Australia and UK launches its ‘Social Innovators’ challenge, aimed at creating 13 innovative projects which help restore, strengthen and protect the social connections of men, especially of those groups which may be deemed more at risk.
In the same year it also joined forces with the Breast Cancer Foundation Australia, to compile their research and information of prostate cancer and their genetic similarities to that of breast and ovarian cancers, helping to improve and transform the lives directly of not only men, but now women.
In 2017 Movember launched it’s ‘Man up’ campaign across Australia, creating a three-part tv series on the topics of gender stereotyping, the pressures of man hood and an investigation into the reasons that so many men are driven to suicide. Each episode saw a staggering 640, 00 people tuning in, furthering the awareness and creating conversation on the topics, not only in Australia, but across the globe.
In the US in 2017 Movember launches its 6-million-dollar project, called ‘Making Connections’. Its aim is to connect men to their community across generations, particularly men of colour, military servicemen and veterans and their families.
What can you do?
See the ‘Take part’ section on https://ie.movember.com/?home about what we can all do to help raise funds for the Movember campaign, whether it be growing a moustache, their monthly challenge of 60km for 60, or something much bigger in a personal challenge.
As we are entering our second lockdown, we can all ‘Move for Movember’ and take part in 60km for 60, where over the month of November we run, walk, cycle (or kayak) 60km for the 60 men lost to suicide around the world every hour.
Reiterating our message put across in our recent blog post on staying healthy and positive during Lockdown, what better way to do so then taking up a challenge and raising some much-needed funds for Movember. It is such an important charity which is creating amazing developments and impacts from our own doorstep to global movements.
Since 2004 over 5,542,507 men and women from all over the world have participated in the Movember campaign, helping fund over 1250 projects globally, and there is no stopping us now.
Visit https://ie.movember.com/?home to read more about their achievements through the years, information on men’s health and learn how you can take part in a challenge today!