With Movember nearly at an end, we wanted to know more about what the student body has been up to! Kieran tells us what he’s been doing to raise money and awareness for Movember.
For people who don’t know, what is ‘Movember’?
Movember is a men’s mental health charity. They’ve focused on three cause areas of why men die early. So on average, men die 6 years earlier than women and the three main cause areas are:
Mental health - 75% of suicides are men; a man commits suicide every minute around the world
Prostate cancer- I think it’s something like 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer in their life
Testicular cancer- so there’s not a lot of awareness around testicular cancer. Quite a lot of people die from it, even though it’s very, very curable and preventable, people catch it so late and they don't really go to the doctors about it.
They fund a lot of research in those areas and create a lot of awareness as well.
How did you get involved?
So, at the end of first year/ beginning of second year I got invited to apply for the student ambassador role. I applied, then had an interview. I’ve been involved with Movember for about 5 years now. I’d done it for a couple of years at school and I was looking for more ways to get involved and do a bit more. I felt like there wasn't really enough being done about it, so I wanted to be a part of making a change. So I interviewed for the ambassador role, obviously got it, and the rest is history!
What have you been doing to raise awareness?
We’ve hosted quite a few events. So we kicked off the month with a shave-down with Halifax Rugby, we also did a Blackbox night and we did a club night in the Lounge and we’ve also done two pub quizzes at Glasshouse. We also had a black- tie dinner at the Hilton and then we had a shave- down at the end of the month at Black Bear barbers, which has just opened on Walmgate. And I’ve put up loads and loads of posters around campus and spammed social media!
So is the shavedown a mass shaving?
Yeah pretty much. So everyone comes along and you just shave each other’s faces… It sounds a bit weird! But you raise money from that usually, so having an obligatory donation of £2 for example. Same with pub quizzes, like £1 per person to come along and that goes to Movember.
How much has been raised so far? (By you and the people/ teams you’re working with)
There’s this thing called ‘the Big Moustache on Campus Challenge’, and all the universities and all the teams in that university combine. So, as a country and the students as a whole, we’ve raised about £300,000. As the University of York, I think we’ve raised, (don’t quote me on this), about £23,000 so far. But the leaderboards don’t freeze until 6th December, so hopefully we’ll get £25,000. Let’s wait and see!
Are you working on any other fundraising projects- Movember or otherwise?
I’m not at the moment, but I’m looking for someone to replace me because it’s my last year and I don’t really want everything that I have done to go to waste.
I am involved with a charity 7s team, which is for a charity that is joined with Movember, but for a different cancer. One of our organiser’s friend’s sons died from cancer when he was quite young - I think he was less than 5. It is sort of based on campus, but it reaches a lot wider than that as well. So, we organise various 7s tournaments for rugby and then some 15s games as well. We are playing on campus in March against whoever wins the College League. Within the University Rugby Club, we’ve also got a charity 7s Touch Tournament that we run every summer, which is about £1 per person to enter and the winning team gets a prize.
I have my own Movember page and, as a University, we have a Facebook page called ‘University of York Movember’. There’s a link in the bio. If you go on the website and search for a team or a person that you know is doing it, e.g. james college rugby, they’ll come up and you can donate to their page.
University of York Movember page: https://uk.movember.com/mospace/network/YorkMovember
Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/?_rdr#!/profile.php?id=1779036095721587&ref=content_filter