Men across the East London Line are growing moustaches to raise awareness of prostate cancer.
Movember is a charity for prostate cancer – the most common cancer in men mainly affecting those over the age of 50. Around 36,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with it every year. In the UK, African Caribbean men are three times more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men.
The Movember campaign idea was sparked in 2003, in Melbourne, Australia as a group of men were inspired by what women have done over the years for breast cancer. Similar to the commitment of running or walking for charity, the men involved in Movember commit to growing a moustache for 30 days.
The rules are that on the 1st November, men campaigning must be clean-shaven in preparation for growing their moustache for an entire month. Throughout the month, they must also keep shaving their other facial hair and simply leave their moustache to grow. They then must get family and friends to sponsor them in order to raise money for the charity.
In 2004, 432 Mo Bros (men supporting the campaign) joined the movement- raising $55,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. The campaign has since expanded to 9 other countries, including the UK, and become a global men’s health movement.
Last year 45,000 Mo Bro’s in the UK raised over £5 million for The Prostate Cancer Charity and this year they are hoping even more people will take part.
Murdock London is holding free shavedowns at their London stores for all Mo Bros (men supporting the campaign) at their stores in Mayfair, Shoreditch and their concession at Liberty. Throughout Movember, they’ll be offering free moustache trims, re-shapings and general tidy-ups to anyone participating in the Movember campaign.
Thom Bushnell, a barber at Murdock in Shoreditch, said: “We care a great deal about the well being and health of our customers not just about their appearance. We got involved with the campaign because it’s a good way of raising awareness.”
“We’ll be setting aside 2 hours every day in each of our barbershops, but you must book online in advance.”
Jonny Benge, 28 (pictured) is doing Movember for the second time, “I have a moustach all year round, so I was reluctant to shave it off, but it’s a fun way to raise money and awareness”.
Some people weren’t so positive. Rasmus Hagen, a Clapton resident said: “I wouldn’t shave off my moustache and re-grow it because I don’t like jumping on bandwagons or turning my body into a campaign.”
But Goldsmiths student Max Bell, 24 is doing his bit for Movember, said: “I like to seize any opportunity through facial hair and this is a very good cause.”