Successful start to Movember Campaign

first_imgOUSU’s charity initiative “Raise and Give” [RAG] launched the university’s Movember campaign at Balliol College last week, the first of a series of events to raise money for The Movember Foundation. The Foundation aims to raise awareness of male health issues, both mental and physical, and invests in research into prostate and testicular cancer.  The events taking place throughout November will include a dodgeball match, a charity formal at Hertford College, a variety of film nights and pub quizzes. JCRs are also expected to get involved in raising money.Attempts to grow facial hair are thought to have a long history at Oxford. One Magdalen don who opposed the admission of women to the College for many years is said to have consoled himself when the floodgates opened by observing “At least they won’t try and grow beards in the second year.”According to the organisers, the campaign managed to raise in excess of £2,000 in the first four days alone, from around 200 people. Last year Oxford raised over £30,000, the largest amount collected by any university in the UK. Harry Housemen, St Hugh’s college, who participated last year after his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer emphasised the importance of growing a moustache as a means of breaking down the embarrassment surrounding men’s mental health issues.“By wearing a moustache on our faces for a month we adopt a sign of masculinity, which encourages conversations surrounding these otherwise awkward areas… … Last year I attempted to grow a moustache… which failed on an epic scale, this year I will attempt the same to similar such results.” RAG is also hosting a series of talks to raise awareness. Ben Bowers, who survived testicular cancer twice, spoke as an ambassador for Movember UK to encourage men to check themselves regularly to catch irregularities early. The Oxford Biology Society will also be hosting a talk from leading researches in Prostate Cancer and mental health.When asked about the goals of RAG’S campaign, the vice president Jodie Spencer said “Our main goal is to raise awareness for men’s health issues, both physical and mental. 1 in 8 men will suffer from prostate cancer in their life, and 1 in 4 men will suffer from some kind of mental health issue. It is easy to forget that testicular cancer is a young man’s disease, most commonly found in men between the ages of 18 and 35. But if the disease is caught earlier than there is an over 96% survival rate.” According to Movember’s website the majority of the funds raised in the UK go towards Cancer Research. The Institute of Cancer Research has been given £1,050,000 to date towards its research into the genes that cause testicular cancer, while Prostate Cancer UK has received £6,461,000.last_img

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