I can hardly believe that it is time to welcome back a furry friend (or should that be fiend) back into my life. Today is 1st Movember and I will of course be fully participating. Last year I was a ‘Mo virgin’ – unaware how it would look or feel to be the ‘proud’ owner of a top lip warmer. Well now I am a ‘Mo pro’ I enter this most important month of the year with the certainty that my facial hair will be ginger (although I prefer to think of it as ‘strawberry blond’). However, the main source of my excited anticipation is the knowledge that I will be taking part in something really special that genuinely brings together Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to make a real difference for the health of men.
I cannot quite believe it has been a whole year – so much has happened. The charity has become Prostate Cancer UK and has a new look and feel as well as creating a unified voice through our merger with Prostate Action. It is our partnership with Movember that has enabled us to drive these changes forward and to be clear about our ambitious plans for the future that underpin our recently published MANifesto. We are also entering Movember with new partnerships with the Football League and Royal Mail, both of which will lead to more Mo Bros raising money and spreading the vital messages about why we are all looking a bit daft (or very daft in my case).
This year, the campaign is all about ‘Movember and Sons’ and it has such a strong resonance with everything that Prostate Cancer UK is all about. Prostate cancer is currently the most common cancer in men and it will not be many years before it is the most common of all cancers. This is why in our MANifesto we have committed to significantly increasing investment into both supporting men with the disease and developing research to identify better forms of diagnosis and treatment. These commitments are in no small part down to the fund raising efforts of Mo Bros and Mo Sistas.
As well as raising money, Movember is all about promoting awareness of prostate cancer and other men’s health issues. Simply by wearing their Mo with pride, Mo Bros are responsible for millions of conversations about men’s health in the UK alone. When you consider that Movember is a truly global campaign that translates to billions of conversations. That is why is so fantastic that this year's campaign recognises the importance of those conversations happening across generations. Talking to your dad, uncle or boss has real potential to save lives. This is also exactly why the third theme of our MANifesto is to lead change. Change will not happen until we start talking about prostate cancer and create a genuine men’s health movement that is driven by our belief that it is an issue that has been neglected for too long and it is time to be clear that men deserve better.
I am looking forward to the month ahead because Movember is fun. I am looking forward to it because it is great to know that you are part of something big that gets so many people taking notice of such an important issue. I am even looking forward to it because I have missed my Mo, it will be good to have him back.