Ready, set, mo!
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The Movember campaign to fundraise and create awareness about men’s health will kick off, as usual, on November 1.
Last year, New Zealand police challenged Toronto police to a moustache-growing and fundraising battle. Across New Zealand, 95 police officers joined the “NZ Molice” for a CanKiwi Mo-Police Challenge. At the end of the month, Toronto came out on top for money raised, but the Kiwis had the most people involved and raised nearly $9000. The ICT crew alone raised $3000.
The New Zealand police team was captained by Senior Constable Bryan Ward, of Bryan and Bobby fame, and he’s back in the fray this time around, rallying support for the cause.
This year, there are several ways to take part:
Grow a moustache
Don’t worry if you can’t grow a showstopper; the worst moustaches start the best conversations.
Move for Movember
Commit to running or walking 60 kilometres over the month (60km for the 60 men lost to suicide each hour around the world). You can join a team or run solo.
Host a Mo-ment
Rally a crew and do something fun. If necessary, you can always put a virtual spin on your plans. Virtual events are easy to organise, cheap to run and you can go in your slippers. Suggestions include an online gaming tournament, Mo Bingo or a virtual trivia night.
Mo Your Own Way
A choose-your-own-adventure challenge, for teams or individuals. You make the rules. Take a hike, run a relay, ride from Bluff to Blenheim. Get creative, push your limits and inspire donations with sheer grit.
The Movember charity, set up in 2003, is on a mission to promote men’s health and has broadened its scope over the years to include not only awareness of prostate cancer, but also of testicular cancer (the most common cancer in young men) and of mental health and suicide prevention among men.
This year, in partnership with The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (involving riders from around the world dressing up and riding classic and vintage motorbikes), Movember has announced multi-country funding for mental health programmes to improve support for veterans and first responders, connecting locally with Fire and Emergency NZ and the New Zealand Defence Force.
Movember NZ & Asia fundraising manager Alex King says that over the next two years, NZ$6.85 million will be invested in men’s health projects. She says all funds raised in New Zealand will stay in New Zealand, with 72.6 cents of every dollar being spent on health programmes.
The charity has also funded a documentary to be screened on TVNZ over two nights this month, October 26-27. Man Enough, hosted by Survivor NZ host Matt Chisholm, talks to a range of New Zealanders, including farmers and All Blacks, about what it means to be a Kiwi man.
- If you haven’t previously taken part in Movember, you can sign up and create a Mo Space at nz.movember.com/register. Once you’re signed up, search “NZ Molice” in the top right hand corner of your Mo Space or click on the team link at movember.com/t/nz-molice?mc=1. If you were a part of the team last year, log back in at nz.movember.com/login.
Jonny on the spot
In tandem with the Movember campaign, the Movember charity has set up an ambassador programme in New Zealand that includes Auckland constable Jonny Hurn, who already has an online profile with his successful series of YouTube “ride along” vlogs about his police work.
The tactical crime unit officer from Glen Innes is one of seven Movember envoys around New Zealand. He’ll be visiting police stations and talking to colleagues, helping spread key Movember messages.
Jonny became involved in the community ambassador programme after last year’s campaign, although he’s previously been a supporter of the causes involved.
“Not only is men’s mental health important to us as officers, of both genders,” he says, “but it is important to the communities we serve.”
He’ll continue to produce related social media content, including content for the new Movember “Conversations” site (conversations.movember.com), which offers advice on talking to mates in your life who might be struggling.
An interactive online tool lets you practise questions and responses, with tips on how to approach difficult conversations.
The big question for Jonny is, will the fresh-faced and currently clean-shaven constable be growing a mo himself?
He admits he’s not entirely confident, but he’s looking forward to encouraging more Police staff to get involved in the cause. “I’ll be around Auckland City trying (and undoubtedly failing) to grow a mo.”