With the beginning of November comes the flooding of timelines with posts from friends sporting questionable moustaches, raising awareness and funds for Movember campaigns.

The Movember movement began in Australia in 2003 and has since become a worldwide event. Movember is the dedication of the month of November to raising awareness and funds for men’s health with the aim of reducing the number of men dying prematurely by 25% by 2030.

In particular, the movement fundraises for suicide prevention and awareness of prostate cancer and testicular cancer. These are extremely important causes and the month contributes towards de-stigmatising conversations around men’s health. It provides an opportunity to address the societal pressures surrounding perceptions of masculinity, which may cause some to remain silent about issues surrounding their health.

Various sports clubs at the university participate in Movember, setting their razors down for a month to raise money. However, you don’t need to be part of a team or society to participate; setting up an individual fundraiser is a simple process.

The general spirit of Movember is starting the month clean-shaven and allowing a moustache to develop over the month, no shaving or trimming! However, those who don’t have the ability to grow facial hair have found alternative and creative ways to contribute and raise funds and awareness for the cause during the month. Many people undertake different challenges and hold fundraising events over the month. Whilst bake sales and coffee morning are sadly off the table with the pandemic, running and fitness challenges are good alternatives and can come with the added bonus of building fitness. If you’re looking for a specific Movember challenge the ‘Move for Movember’ challenge encourages people to walk or run 60km over the month. 60km for the 60 men lost to suicide each hour across the world.

If fitness challenges aren’t accessible for you there are various other ways to fundraise, such as going vegan for the month. Alternatively, you can make up your own challenge – the more creative the better. We may be well into the month but it’s not too late start fundraising or get involved.

Movember seems especially important this year in light of COVID-19, which has had a significant impact on the mental health of many. Check in on your friends and family members – this month provides a valuable opportunity to discuss the issues raised and to become more aware of those around you.

Movember is a month that, whilst fundraising for men, invites the involvement of everyone to further the cause. Fundraising options are accessible to everyone, regardless of moustache-growing ability, and can provide an excellent excuse to get outside this November. Throw yourself into the movement this Movember and donate to the cause. Finish off the year with something positive.