Movember with a BANG!

MovemberDuring November, men in the Western Isles were asked to help raise awareness of men’s cancers and men’s health by growing themselves their very own ‘Mo’ (moustache).

‘Mo Bros’, as they are better known, were encouraged in October to sign up at, and then on the 1st of ‘Movember’, with a clean-shaven face, start their ‘Mo’ growing journey. Then, for the entire month, these selfless and generous Mo Bros effectively became walking, talking billboards for 30 days. Through their growing efforts, they were able to raise awareness for the often ignored issues of men’s health, by prompting conversations wherever they went.

To promote Movember locally, NHS Western Isles teamed up with a range of groups and organisations to offer a variety of events, with all funds raised being donated to local men’s cancer charities.

But did you know that Movember was not just for men – the women of Movember, known as ‘Mo Sistas’, played a vital role in the success of Movember by supporting and encouraging the men in their life to get involved. Essentially, Mo Sistas did everything that Mo Bros do, but without a Mo!

With cancer being one of the biggest killers in Scotland, the disease is recognised as having a ‘ripple’ effect, impacting on everyone when you, a family member, friend or colleague has been diagnosed.

In fact 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 prostate cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancer, accounting for 53% of cancers in males.

Other common male cancers include: testicular, trachea, head and neck, bladder, oesophagus, stomach, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, malignant melanoma of skin, and kidney.

A national health campaign highlighting the signs and symptoms of Lung Cancer was also recently launched. The campaign, which stresses the importance of staying vigilant of continued or persistent health problems, encouraged those with a persistent cough to visit their GP and help detect cancer early.

The only locally based cancer support group for men, the Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group, is now in its fifth year and continues to offer confidential advice, information and support to men, and their families and friends, living with or affected by cancer in the Western Isles.

Through donations, the group has been able to provide valuable aid by helping local men and their families affected by cancer. This has included practical help, for example, providing contributions towards additional costs associated with travel and accommodation when receiving cancer treatments.

The group continues to expand its membership and, at present, is encouraging men of all ages affected by cancer to contact them. The group offers a drop-in at the Bayhead Retirement Centre every Friday from 2pm-4pm and is considering expanding men’s involvement by having roadshow meetings in Ness, Tarbert, Uist and Barra. For further information about the group please visit:

All funds raised through the following Movember events will be donated to local men’s cancer charities.  Events included…

  • On Friday, November 15, the annual ‘Battle of the Sexes’ Quiz Night was held at Stornoway Golf Club at 7.30pm. Teams made up of any four males or four females (no mixed teams) over the age of 18 were encouraged to register in advance by November 8, by telephoning (01851) 762017.  Entry was £10 per team.
  • On Saturday, November 16, the ‘Old Firm Friendly’ 11-a-side was held at Tarbert Football Pitch at 1pm. Entrants aged 16+ and all ‘WAGs’ were welcome too!  Those wishing to reserve their place were asked to contact Coinneach Morrison, tel. 0797 124 8529 or email:
  • On Saturday, November 23, the inaugural Men’s 5K took place from Stornoway Golf Club at 1pm.  Individuals and three-man teams of varying fitness levels were encouraged to take part and either walk, jog or run.  Registration forms were available from the Lewis Sports Centre and entrance fees were: Adults (over 18) £5, Under 18s (over 12s) £3 and teams £10. Specially designed T-shirts were also available to purchase, and a large number of entrants raced wearing their own specially grown ‘Mo’.
  • An evening dance titled ‘Fifty Shades of Red!’ was held in the Stornoway Golf Club on November 23. Popular local band ‘Ugly Violet’ performing and those attending enjoyed the evening. A £3 entry fee was charged, however those who competed in the Men’s 5K and men sporting a specially grown ‘Mo’ were admitted free of charge.
  • Finally, the 3×30 Challenge encouraged everyone to commit to walking, cycling, jogging, swimming, or even kayaking, for 3K each day for 30 days in a row. Those intending to take part in the Men’s 5K were encouraged to sign up to the 3×30 Challenge, to help further build up their stamina in advance of the 5K.

Men who were planning to style their ‘Mo’ as a natural, handlebar, goatee, imperial or even a fu manchu, or even Mo Sistas supporting their men, were asked to help raise valuable funds and promote Movember in the Western Isles in style!  Detect Cancer Early.