‘A RESOUNDING SUCCESS’ was how the local Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group summed up the Movember Western Isles 2013 events, when they were recently presented with a cheque for £3,500.
Movember Western Isles 2013 was kick-started into action when men were encouraged to take up the challenge of growing themselves a moustache (a ‘Mo’) during the 30 days of November. These stylish ‘Mo Bros’ were then able to raise awareness of the often ignored issues of men’s health, and prompt conversations about men’s cancers and the importance of detecting cancer early. Many of the men even encouraged friends and colleagues to sponsor them whilst they undertook their ‘Mo’ challenge.
The first Movember event held in the Western Isles was the annual ‘Battle of the Sexes’ quiz evening, held on November 15, which attracted 35 teams from throughout Lewis, and raised over £350. The coveted trophy was this year awarded, once again, to Talk Talk’s Sahara Kayaking Club.
The main ‘Movember’ event was the highly successful ‘Men’s 5K’, which was held on Saturday, November 23. Almost 200 men, and boys aged over 12, registered for the event. As well as monies received from the 5K entrants, sponsorship forms were also provided to each entrant to encourage additional fundraising. The event has been deemed such a success that the Men’s 5K will now become an annual event, after having raised over £3,000.
Golfers who took part in the Stornoway Golf Club Winter League, were unable to take part in the ‘Men’s 5K’, and organised a collection amongst themselves, providing a generous donation of £150.The ‘Old Firm Friendly’ 11-a-side football match was held on November 23 at Tarbert Football Pitch, and featured players on both teams from the neighbouring islands of Lewis and Harris. A collection was also taken on the day from players and spectators.
Finally, during the month of Movember, a number of local businesses and workplaces encouraged their staff and customers to help with additional fundraising. Donation boxes were made available at a number of locations, including the Lews Sports Centre, Lewis and Harris Rangers Club, and Stornoway Golf Club. A number of private donations were also made directly to the Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group.The Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group, known to be the only specific men’s cancer support group in Scotland, say they will be able to put the funds raised to very good use, to help provide valuable aid to local men affected by cancer, and their families.
Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group (HMCSG), said: “We are overwhelmed by this magnificent and generous donation from Movember Western Isles. In addition to assisting HMCSG to help and support men affected by cancer, their relatives and friends, this also highlights the tremendous work being done so effectively by the NHS Western Isles Health Promotion Department and Sport and Health, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. We are delighted to work in partnership with them in promoting the early detection of cancer and the progress made in treating cancer and creating a public awareness of every aspect of the cancer journey.”
Gordon Jamieson, NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, said: “We can never do enough to raise awareness and promote early detection of cancer, as well as support those in need through difficult times. I am delighted that Movember Western Isles events were such an outstanding success and thank all those who took part and contributed.”
Almost 43,000 men are diagnosed with a form of male-specific cancer each year in the UK. For males, the most common cancers are lung, prostate cancer and colorectal cancers accounting for 53 per cent of cancers in males.
Other common male cancers include: testicular, trachea, bronchus and lung, prostate, colorectal, head and neck, bladder, oesophagus, stomach, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, malignant melanoma of skin, and kidney.
More recently, a national health campaign highlighting the signs and symptoms of Lung Cancer has been launched, backed by football legend Sir Alex Ferguson. The campaign, which stresses the importance of staying vigilant of continued or persistent health problems, encourages those with persistent coughing to visit their GP and help detect cancer early.
If you would like to find out more about the Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group, or would like to provide a donation, please contact them direct at: www.hebmenscancer.com, or visit their drop-in centre at the Bayhead Retirement Centre in Stornoway every Friday from 2pm-4pm. Look out for Movember 2014!