John's running the New York Marathon to support Movember. But what does Movember do exactly, and where does the money go?
3rd October 2016
On the 6th of November 2016, I will run the New York City Marathon - my first ever marathon - in support of Movember Ireland.
Movember has done great work in the awareness and treatment of men’s health issues around the world but I wanted to know more.
I wanted to know why Movember was set up, how it's run and what would the money I am raising for them, after months of dragging myself around the streets of Dublin, be supporting exactly.
I met Neiler Rooney to ask him what Movember do here in Ireland and why he got involved.
Neiler Rooney, 42, Director of Movember Ireland
After finishing college I went sailing for about 6 years. When I got back to dry land I took up a marketing job, busting my ass for brands I didn’t give a shit about. I moved to Concern Worldwide who do amazing work helping the poorest of the poor, as well as vital advocacy work, so my professional life became a lot more gratifying.
I remember hearing about Movember and thinking what a genius idea it was - using the growing of moustaches to create awareness of and raise funds for men’s health.
It was all started by two dudes having Sunday pints and talking about how their childhood heroes all had moustaches but nobody did anymore. They dared each other to grow moustaches for the month then 30 of their mates ended up rocking out Mos with them, literally for the craic. The next year they did it for charity and 450 people joined in. Four years later almost 100,000 people had done it and since 2003 there have been over 5 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas who have raised €516 million and funded over 1,200 men’s health projects globally.
Photos include Neiler outside Movember HQ on South William Street in Dublin, Movember crew Jack & Sophie getting ready for Movember prime time in the office.
"Next morning, I woke up with a sore head and new job"
Marc Bereen, the owner of Coppinger Row restaurant in Dublin, helped bring the Movember campaign to Ireland in 2008 and threw the first fundraising events. One day after work, I stopped by Coppinger Row for a drink and by chance one of the Movember founders, JC, was there interviewing people to run a Dublin branch. After the interviews JC joined our table, we all ended up having dinner and then going on the town. Next morning, I woke up with a sore head and new job!
That was 2011 and we immediately scaled up efforts in Ireland. I ran it by myself for the first three years but there are now two full-timers and one three-month contractor with me in the office.
Movember throws a lot of events and parties. Some people find this a bit nonconformist as a serious charity but Movember started over pub chats and we embrace that. We want to normalise the conversation around men’s health and in doing that we want to take it to where men socialise, where they meet and we have had enormous success this way. Sport is a huge area for us, this is where men meet and connect. We want to activate young men and their peers.
Photos of different Movember events and parties in Dublin over the last few years, some GAA stars on board for a Movember campaign, the Mo flag flying high outside The Shelbourne Hotel on St Stephens Green.
"Of the average 10 suicides in Ireland each week, 8 of them are men"
The funds we raise in Ireland are put towards programmes we run in partnership with the Irish Cancer Society as well as Movember’s GAP (Global Action Plan) initiative.
The facts are pretty stark. Men experience worse longer-term health than women and die on average six years earlier. Over the age of 65, in developed countries, women outnumber men by a quarter. The crisis is worsening. Prostate cancer, the second biggest cancer affecting men, is set to double in the next 15 years. Three-quarters of suicides are men. Poor mental health leads to half a million men taking their own life every year. Of the average 10 suicides in Ireland each week, 8 of them are men.
Movember really means a lot to me. Too many men in Ireland die too young and I want to do my bit to change that.
Movember preserved five sections of the iconic Windmill Lane walls to raise funds and awareness for men’s health. Check out the brochure here
Aer Lingus added a giant Mo to one of their planes for us and called it Des for the month of Movember.
A 622 meter Mo was projected on the Cliffs of Moher in 2014
So, where does the money go?
Movember raised €1.4million in Ireland 2014 with only 18.2% of that spent on admin and fundraising. The industry standard is 15 - 25%. You can see their full financial reports here
Two examples of Movember programmes in Ireland
1. CASE AKA TrueNTH Clinics - Care, Advice, Information & Support for Prostate Cancer Patients
The CASE initiative is a 2-3 year action research programme funded with €390,000. This will pilot at least two sites where specialist nurses will work with men following prostate cancer treatment. They will work alongside the current delivery of specialist nursing care to men during diagnosis and treatment.
The function of the pilot programme is to enhance current clinical care through the provision of specialist nurse follow-up for side effects, which can cause men distress at various stages following prostate cancer treatment. The goal is to reduce the impact of treatment consequences on the patient in the long term by providing care, advice, support and education to the patient experiencing side effects. The Pilot Project will be based in Galway University Hospital and St. James’s Hospital, Dublin.
2. Prostate Psycho-Educative programme
TrueNTH is a revolutionary global care program that helps men living with prostate cancer to access care and support that improves the quality of life before, during and after treatment. It focuses on empowering men to make informed decisions when it comes to treatment and side effects. TrueNTH operates across 6 countries with a team of more than 80 collaborators.
This programme is part of TrueNTH Ireland was developed by the Irish Cancer Society with €97,000 of funding from the Movember Foundation. The programme provides support and information to men with prostate cancer in their local cancer support centres.
The six session programme aims to enhance the physical and psychosocial wellbeing and quality of life for prostate cancer survivors by identifying and responding to supportive care needs, developing healthy coping strategies and managing lifestyle changes. The programme is active in 12 cancer support centres right around Ireland and was attended by 200 men who have had a diagnosis of prostate cancer.