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As a key part of our employee wellbeing strategy, we took part in Men’s Health Awareness Month in November 2022, raising awareness around the physical and mental health issues men can face. We've hosted a variety of events, including an educational session by executive coach Ian Windle discussing prostate cancer and a fun catwalk at Peldon Rose HQ to show off our Movember moustaches.
Movember was founded in 2003 in response to the men's health crisis, with statistics such as men are likely to die on average five years earlier than women, prompting two Australian friends to take action. Since then, it has grown to become a global leading charity in three important topics: mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer.
The charity encourages their supporters, nicknamed "Mo Bros and Sisters," to sport a moustache designed to encourage difficult conversations about men's health. In Peldon Rose spirit, we felt it was important to show off our fashionable moustaches in the only way we knew how - on the catwalk (see below).
We asked executive coach Ian Windle to share his experience as a prostate cancer survivor. The insightful seminar addressed what to look for, early warning signs, and candid stories about his Ian's journey through diagnosis. We felt it was invaluable to have someone with a lived experience and understanding of prostate cancer impart their knowledge, as prostate cancer affects one in every eight men in the UK, with men over 50, black men, and those with a family history of cancer being most at risk.
Ian reminded us that men are less likely than women to be encouraged by the NHS to get tested for prostate cancer before the age of 50, so self-advocacy is essential.
Ian made the talk a down to earth conversation, as the topic can feel a little taboo. Ian took the elephant out of the room, and had a friendly chat about prostate cancer and how easy it is the take preventative measures.
Ian’s seminar was eye opening on the prevalence of prostate cancer. There is a perception that the checks carried out by doctors are embarrassing or uncomfortable, so it was useful to clarify the checks can start with a simple blood test. This allowed me to have more educated conversations with the men in my life.
We ended the month with a fun awareness catwalk, our very own no-rules fashion show to celebrate moustaches of all shapes and sizes. A glitter station and 'Mo’s on the Go' were available to ensure that our stars of the show were prepped and primed ahead of their big debuts. We rolled out the red carpet and perfectly positioned spotlights to highlight our lovely participants in all their glory.
Although Movember has come to an end for another year, our work isn’t complete. The events held this month serve as a reminder to continue educating and raising awareness about men's health issues throughout the year, as well as to support our employees' wellbeing on a daily basis. To carry on the conversation in December we are hosting an onsite discussion led by Mates in Mind focusing on mental health specifically in the construction industry. Keep a look out for a future blog.