College’s Mo-mentous effort

An inspirational trio of friends are amongst staff and students gearing up for an action-packed month to help raise awareness of men’s health issues.

Stoke on Trent College is planning a hive of fundraising activity as part of “Movember”, a worldwide, month-long campaign, that aims to raise vital funds and awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health.

From Friday November 1st, more than 30 male staff from the College will be sponsored to grow a moustache, before having it brightly coloured by the college’s beauty students. Other fundraising activity such as merchandise, fancy dress, moustache- themed nail art and cake baking, will take place across the college.

Friends Lucie Hambleton, Francesca Croxton and Lynzi Wilkes (pictured), who all study Spa Therapy at Stoke on Trent College, are keen to make their fundraising efforts count. The trio have all experienced the effects of serious health issues in their own families and want to make a difference. During Movember they will be offering moustache-themed nail art to staff and students to help raise funds for the global cause.

Twenty-four year old Lucie Hambleton, from Bucknall, lost her dad to cancer earlier this year. She said: “My Dad was diagnosed with cancer in December 2012 and passed away shortly afterwards in March.

I think a campaign like this is really important to help make everyone aware of health issues and know about the signs.

It’s a very important cause.”

Lynzi Wilkes, from Sneyd Green, saw her mum battle Breast Cancer growing up. She said: “Men don’t tend to talk about health issues and they seem to be more embarrassed than women about visiting a doctor, but it can be just as serious.”

Francesca Croxton, who has a family member that survived testicular cancer, added: “We hope Movember will help make more people aware of these health issues and ease their anxiety because, at the end of the day, life’s too short.”

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of millions of moustaches around the world. As an independent global charity, Movember’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health. It aims to raise awareness for the often ignored issues of men’s health, by prompting people to start conversations with participants wherever they go.

In previous years the Movember campaign has focused on different types of “gentlemen”, from country gentlemen in 2010 to the modern gentleman in 2011. For 2013, Movember is hoping to inspire a “new generation” of fundraisers through its ‘Generation Mo’ slogan.

Calvin Austin, Learner Involvement Co-ordinator at Stoke-on-Trent College, is one of 30 male staff members ‘growing a mo’ for the campaign. He said: “During their college experience, we try to offer our students the opportunity to get involved in extra-curricular activities that help raise their awareness, provoke thought and inspire them moving forwards.

Whilst what we are doing for Movember is all good fun, there is a serious message behind the campaign that we are keen to highlight.

Health issues can be quite a taboo subject amongst men, so by getting the staff and students involved in Movember, we hope to shed some light on these issues and breakdown some of the barriers men face when speaking up about health concerns.

We have received fantastic support ahead of the campaign from across the college and we are hoping this will be one of best fundraising and awareness events to date.”

Since 2003, Movember has grown to become a global awareness campaign, with more than 3 Million people participating across 21 countries worldwide. In 2012 over £92.0 million was raised.

For more information about Movember visit http://uk.movember.com. To support Stoke on Trent College’s Movember fundraising efforts visit http://uk.movember.com/team/1110549.

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