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06 November 2013

The Holy Mo

The Holy Mo

by Amanda Pilz

The annual men's health campaign, Movember, that asks men to grow moustaches for a month will be joined by faith groups in the Holy Mo! challenge.

The Holy Mo! was created by Movember alongside creative agency Kore. Movember, the month also known as November, is when men around the world grow a moustache for thirty days, with the support of the women (Mo Sistas) in their lives. The aim is to raise awareness and funds for men's health, specifically prostate and testicular cancer and mental health.

The idea for Movember originated in 2003 in an Australian pub, and the Movember network brings together groups and communities from within the same industries in a fun, competitive environment.

With the introduction of the Holy Mo! challenge, churches across the UK have a new way to get involved. It is gathering together leaders, local churches and communities to help achieve their vision of having a lasting impact on the topic of men's health.

"We are a grass roots movement led by our communities.This support is vital to the success of the campaign," explains Movember. "We're very excited to have the support of faith communities in the UK this year and are fully behind the Holy Mo!As usual at this time of year we look forward to the sprouting of moustaches everywhere."

The Rt Rev James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle and lead Bishop on healthcare for the Church of England adds: "I would like to commend Movember for encouraging faith communities to engage with issues of men's health, and encourage people to consider growing a moustache this Movember, proudly sporting them in our communities and supporting those who do.

"Many lives, including those of my friends and colleagues have been impacted by testicular and prostate cancer and by the stigma attached to talking about them."

Among others, churches from Glengormley in Northern Ireland and Clyde Valley in Scotland, to Stockton, Doncaster and Shoeburyness in England have entered the challenge.

Rev David Southall from the chaplaincy team at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has entered his team, the Mighty Movember Chaplains, and says: "It's a great opportunity. It is such a serious subject and men are not great at approaching the medical profession. Anything we can do to raise awareness and have conversations about it is great."

The campaign now spans the globe operating in twenty-one countries. In 2012, over 1.1 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas raised over £92 million globally with over 363,000 participants in the UK raising over £26.9 million.

Men and women can still join Movember at: https://www.movember.com/uk/register