On Friday 30 November, the Hobgoblin pub in New Cross was filled with ‘taches to rival the cast of Ashes to Ashes. Post-work drinkers looked over their shoulders, half expecting Gene Hunt to stroll through the door at any time. These moustachioed men were, in fact, teachers from Hatcham College in New Cross, who ceased shaving in order to raise a fantastic £2,650 this Movember.
Staff sprouted hair for the cause, some more successfully than others, raising £650 over the course of the month. The school’s pupils were then allowed to pay a small sum to wear ordinary clothes on Friday, which added £2,000 to the cause in one day.
At an awards ceremony held at the Hobgoblin, the gents shaved their ‘mos and were awarded titles of Sexiest, Creepiest, Best, and Most Pathetic Moustache. ELL chatted to them about the mo-tivation behind the big hairy effort that they’ve made this year, whether they’ll be sticking with their soup-strainers and what the kids at school thought about the whole thing…
Pavel Malik, an IT teacher at Hatcham said that Movember had been great for raising prostate cancer awareness amongst the pupils.
“Raising awareness of prostate cancer and creating a dialogue with the kids about something like that is very positive. We went into the whole thing as a team. Crayford [a school in Haberdasher Aske Federation along with Hatcham] raised £1700 by selling moustache-shaped badges, too.”
Anthony Liscombe, also an IT teacher, had a bit of trouble producing facial hair. He raised precisely £0 for the cause and was awarded ‘Most Pathetic Moustache’.
“I was really the most important part of this whole thing. I grew my ‘tache so that people could appreciate how good everyone else looked.”
Ben Meads, a computing teacher, allowed his moustache to take its natural shape, and even got a haircut to make himself look more 70’s. Many of his pupils got into the spirit today.
“We all agreed to do it together – prostate cancer has affected a mate of mine in the past. We banded together and the reaction has been quite good; the kids asked a lot, and today some of them painted on moustaches, whilst others had tried to grow their own. I quite fancied seeing what would happen to it if I left it until Christmas, but I’m not allowed.”
David Dinsmore, a computing teacher, organised Hatcham’s Movember effort. He went all out raising money for the cause.
“I have the badge… the wristband… And I did a 10k run on Sunday. Alone. I’m going to be shaving this [his moustache] off NOW, though. I’d imagine I’ll win all of the awards tonight. Sexiest… creepiest… Most creepily sexy…”
Ged Owens, Vice Principal of Hatcham got involved because David Dinsmore told him to. He believed the experience had brought the team closer together.
“It’s good to raise awareness for men’s health issues. At present, a man’s life expectancy is four years shorter than a woman’s. The moustache really shows everyone what you’re doing, and why. It’s been great for team bonding, and when I checked this morning, as a school, we’d raised a tenth of what the entire country of Austria had raised!”
James Darwin, a teaching assistant in Design and Technology, also thought he might be first in line to the sexiest moustache throne.
“We decided over email that we were going to do it, and it’s great to raise money for a good cause. I’m pretty sure I’d have won the Sexiest moustache award, but I pulled out of the running.” (It later became obvious that another member of staff had sabotaged Darwin’s sexiest moustache campaign.)
Rob Bradshaw, a maths teacher, shaved a comedy gap in the middle of his moustache and won’t be continuing to grow it, in spite of the fact that it makes him feel super manly. He hoped to win in all four categories, but in fact only won ‘creepiest’.
“The kids seemed to be very amused by the whole idea. My A-Level class have been comparing my progress daily with Jamie Theakston’s. A couple of them have grown some taches themselves. I voted for myself in all four categories, and I’m hoping to win all four but at a push… I’d say I’m going to win sexiest.”
Jermaine Gayle, a History teacher believed that Movember had raised awareness amongst students at the school. He will be shaving as he’s pretty sure he looks like a ‘70s throwback, although a joint win in the ‘Sexiest Moustache Award’ said otherwise…
“It has raised awareness for the kids; they’ve asked, and listened, and learned about men’s cancer in general. I’ll be shaving it off tonight – at the moment with the ‘fro and the ‘tache I remind myself of someone from the 70’s, and there’s a danger in New Cross that people might think I’m doing it ironically!”
Noor Hasan, a trainee teacher, grew her spectacular moustache especially for this photo. She decided to support Movember for the many men in her family.
“There are lots of men in my family, and I have lots of male friends. I wanted to raise money for them and awareness for kids. Boys and men are typically not good at checking their health. It’s a bit of fun and lots of good is coming out of it, too.”
John Bryson, a geography teacher, wore a onesie to non-uniform day and grew a mo’ because he thought Movember seemed like a good idea. In spite of winning ‘Best Tache’ and a tie in the ‘Sexiest Moustache’ category, he will be getting rid of the facial fuzz in order to maintain marital harmony.
“I’m not really sure why I said yes to Movember – it just seemed like a good idea. I wasn’t aware it was going to look so good. I did have a moustache a long time ago, but this is my first Movember. I think it’s been brilliant, really good fun. Some of the kids at school thought it was hilarious, and others took it really seriously, and it was great to have a non-uniform day to round it off for them. I’ll be getting rid of [the moustache] tonight though, as my wife hates it.”