The following post comes to us from Neil Mattock. Neil is the Regional Sales Manager for Draper Group Ltd, our UK branch.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, focusing on prostate and testicular cancer, and more recently men’s mental health, such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders. Yes it does affect guys too!

Neil_StripedBy encouraging men (who the charity refers to as “Mo Bros”) to get involved, Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths. Since 2004, the Movember Foundation has run events to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues. To date the global Movember community has raised £346 million and funded over 800 programmes in 21 countries.

My own driver for participating is several fold. First, on a personal note, my father-in-law Pete Wilson was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011. In his early seventies, it was going to be a tough fight and as ever with the “C” word it struck fear and distress not just with him but all close to him, in particular my wife Deborah, who has a very close father/daughter bond. For me, it was my first experience of being close to someone whose life was potentially threatened by this disease. Thankfully, after excellent care from the local hospital, he was given the all clear about 18 months later. On top of all of this, he also found he urgently required a heart bypass operation, which again was completed successfully. He is still going strong and enjoying his life and hobbies today.

Secondly, the attraction to participating in this cause is that it is one of few organisations that focus purely on men’s health. Although there are many worthy and worthwhile charities out there, this one struck a chord with me. I have never really gotten involved in charities or fundraising as a habit, limiting my own donations to the annual events that occur in the UK, such as Children In Need.

Movember Style GuideEarlier this year I watched in terror as my wife and her loyal team abseiled a 400ft tower to raise funds for a charity. The growing of a moustache with both feet on the ground seems a much easier and safer way of raising money! It’s also fun as we work not only as individual fundraisers but as teams. The Rugby Football community is a massive driver in this area, and I am proud to be part of the Front Mo Union led by Dylan Hartley, England international and captain of Northampton Saints RUFC. As I write this the team consisting of 166 members has raised almost £9,000 (more than $14,000 U.S.) since November 1st.

To any of you guys out there who want to make a difference in a fun way, I would encourage you to take part, form teams, take photographs, make it a competition to see who can Mo the best for thirty days, and more importantly raise money for a cause that can tackle illnesses and deaths that are preventable. In a stressful world, men’s mental health is a real issue. Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common disorder in the UK leading to suicide—75% are men.

To access my personal page click here, or you can follow the whole thing on twitter at #Movember. Obviously I’d love those of you who can to donate—otherwise I’d love your comments on the Mo progress images I will upload over the next three weeks.

Thanks for reading and happy Movember!

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