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The University of Birmingham Movember Highlights 2023

In case you missed the month of moustaches for men’s mental health


In the name of men’s mental health, many Birmingham students have recently been rocking the lip foliage to raise donations for Movember.

The international Movember campaign aims to improve overall mental health and help men build stronger social connections to reduce risks of suicide. By tackling the stigma around mental health and funding critical biomedical research of testicular and prostate cancer, leaders of the movement are “hell-bent on improving the quality of life for the 11 million men living with prostate cancer”.

At the University of Birmingham, Movember fundraising exceeded the 2023 target of £45,000, raising £53,755 throughout the moustached month of November. Through charity events, many sports clubs and societies took it upon themselves to raise awareness of testicular cancer – the most common cancer among young men.

Here are UoB’s Movember highlights, including the top fundraisers and moustache antics.

The School of Engineering RFC

The School of Engineering RFC raised over £9,500, surpassing last year’s total. 80 club members took part in hosting charity gigs, pub quizzes and auctions which allowed the team to smash their £6,000 goal. Big spenders included the vice chairmen – who allegedly drank too much and splurged £150 at the charity auction. One of the best prizes up for grabs was a “kiss with a very attractive club member, nicknamed ‘sexy Carlos’”, which received huge praise. While some members’ partners adjusted slowly to their beau’s new facial hair (moustache + kissing = uncomfy combo), the moustached team persevered for the worthy cause.

A spokesperson for the rugby club said they have “always had an open-door policy amongst members to discuss issues troubling them.” Previously, coffee meetings were held at Hey Brew where members talked about their health and wellbeing. The club recognises the importance of men’s mental, as well as physical health.

You can aid the engineering rugby club’s efforts to £10,000, here. 

You can aid the engineering rugby club’s efforts to £10,000, here. 

In third place on Brum’s Movember leaderboard is CricSoc, who raised £4,942 – over double their initial goal. The society took fundraising to the extreme with daily 5km runs, swimming 60km across November, shaving their heads, and chugging drinks daily. However, they were less successful on the moustache front with many members bearing a resemblance to 2013 baby faced Bieber. Yet, spirits remained high. With a bit of faith and persistence, members hoped their whiskers would grow into voluminous moustaches.

A team highlight was when CricSoc first year Alex Squire volunteered to shave his “luscious locks” in the good name of Movember – raising £250 for the cause (after getting permission from his mum, of course).

If you would like to donate to the University of Birmingham Cricket Society’s Movember campaign, here is the link.

University of Birmingham GAC

Raising over £2000, UoB’s Gaelic football club went beyond the facial hair frenzy, showing up for Movember by walking or running sixty kilometres to represent the sixty men who die every hour by suicide globally.

Many club members have reportedly become fond of their newfound facial hair and are “refusing to let go of their hard work.” The ladies of the club also got involved in fundraising (despite the lack of moustaches) with group runs and charity quizzes.

If you would like to donate to UoB’s Gaelic Football fundraising page, here is the link.

James Baxter – UoB’s top individual fundraiser

Securing his spot as UoB’s top Movember fundraiser this year is James Baxter, who raised over a whopping £1,000. James raised money for the charity through increasing the total combined weight of his squat, bench, and deadlift by 1kg for every £1 donated. As Movember progressed and funds grew close to £1000, James recruited his friend Benji to share the total 1000kg weight (how is this humanly possible…)

Though his family were not big moustache fans, and his kneecaps have seen better days, James looks back on his achievements proudly. Speaking about his mental health, James said he was “lucky in the sense I had people close to me, family and friends, who unknowingly took a lot of burden I was keeping on my shoulders”. Regarding his personal struggles, James said “I, like many men, did not want to speak outwardly about how I felt as I was embarrassed. Men’s mental health is no joke.”

James has posted updates on his Instagram showing his Movember weightlifting journey. If you would like to donate to James’ fundraising page, click here.

Ben Croucher

In second place on UoB’s Movember individual’s leaderboard, Ben Croucher raised £940 through raffle nights and quizzes. As a Movember ambassador himself, Ben is no stranger to a moustache. However, this Movember he motivated both teams and individuals to get involved in other ways too, such as encouraging his university accommodation’s football team to join the campaign.

Ben was rocking the facial hair long before Movember. Unlike others, he didn’t have to face the awkward early stage of growing a tache on 1st November. He instead kept his moustache but said farewell to his beard, which made him feel “unusually cold without the added protection of facial hair,” which made his walks to campus that extra bit fresher. Despite this, Ben plans to keep his Movember moustache around a little bit longer.

If you would like to donate to Ben Croucher, please click here.

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