Student Ambassadors Do Movember
By Iwan Taylor-Evans
This year, the Student Ambassador Scheme at Swansea University has formed a Movember Team, to raise awareness for both men’s physical and mental health. Movember is the leading charity in changing the face of men’s health, aiming to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%. Since 2003, Movember has funded more than 1,250 men’s health projects around the world, transforming the support that men get from health services. Now a global movement, the Movember scheme has recruited five million ‘Mo Bros’ and ‘Mo Sisters’ since 2003.
Having taken part in Movember for the previous two years, I really wanted to make my third year of fundraising the best yet. Shortly before November, I pitched the idea of forming a team to the Senior Student Ambassador Committee, who were interested in the idea. My initial vision for the team was that we would have around five to six Ambassadors growing a questionable moustache; however, I have been astounded by the response of my colleagues.
After mentioning the role of ‘Mo Sisters’ to them, an individual that supports the charity through fundraising or moral support, it became clear that my initial vision for the team was about to be blown out of the water. We currently have a team of 17 Ambassadors, made up of 10 ‘Mo Bros’ and 7 ‘Mo Sisters’ and have collectively raised an incredible £1,410 of our £1,500 target.
Many of us have taken on ‘Move for Movember’, a challenge where you run or walk 60km over November for the 60 men we lose to suicide each hour, every hour across the world. Currently as a team we have moved 414.36km and each aim to reach our target of 60km by the end of the month. As the Team Captain for the Student Ambassador Scheme, I could not be prouder of the effort and dedication the rest of the team have showcased so far this month. I never thought I would ever be part of a team that would achieve this much for Movember, so I am truly grateful to be part of this experience.
I asked some Ambassadors what Movember means to them. Mo Sister, Alpha Evans stated:
“This year more than ever it’s extremely important to raise awareness about men’s mental health as well as their physical health”.
Mo Bro, Ethan Mills shared:
“I’m doing Movember for all the men who’ve been told they are everything but, it doesn’t matter if you’re not someone’s ideal man, just be whatever man you want, however you want.”
Mo Sista, Lauren Johns noted:
“It has been an incredible opportunity to raise money for an amazing cause and has enabled me to get away from my desk and into fresh air during the lockdown. Working towards a common goal has made me feel a part of something important and allowed me to focus on something positive in these unprecedented times.”
Mo Sista, Caitlin Jones explained:
“Mental health has become an even bigger issue during these weird times, and I’m so proud to be running and raising money on behalf of all the men in my life.”
Mo Sista, Laura Lennox expressed:
“It’s a topic that affects everyone or at least someone close to you. It’s a topic that should be discussed more and a topic that together as a community we can improve.”
Having been fortunate enough to attend the Movember Awards this year in February, I met many inspirational people whose stories motivate me to raise as much money and awareness for the charity as possible. I witnessed some of the incredible lives that have been touched by the fundraising we do. One of these individuals is Stewart Morgan of Heriot-Watt University who stated:
“To me, Movember really encourages bros of all ages to look after their mental and physical health and reach out when need be.”
As a result of my experiences with Movember, it has reinforced the notion that you should always talk about how you feel. Never invalidate your own feelings and certainly not other peoples. It is okay not to feel okay sometimes but always talk about it. Be consistently kind as you never know how much it can impact someone’s life. And once a year, if you can, grow a beautiful moustache, run, and raise some money for a wonderful charity.