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Team will be taking on mo-mentous trial
WHETHER they choose the wisp favoured by Hercule Poirot, or go with a trucker style or the handlebar variety, pharmacists at the Great Western Hospital will be getting their facial hair into shape for Movember.
The seven-strong team will be growing moustaches as part of campaign to dispel the stigma of prostate and testicular cancer and the many health issues affecting men.
Deputy chief pharmacist Mike Lewis, 58, roped in staff to take part in the charity challenge last year. This time around he barely had any arm twisting to do as more willing volunteers signed up.
Whether patients at the hospital, friends or relatives, cancer leaves no-one unscathed, said Mike.
He said: “We see people here being treated for prostate cancer every day. We provide chemotherapy for patients. I have a friend who died of prostate cancer over a year ago.”
Movember aims to change the face of men’s health by putting a fun twist on serious issues. Using the moustache as a catalyst, the nationwide campaign sets out to empower men, giving them confidence to learn and talk about their health more openly.
Having raised £450 between five people last November, Mike has set the team the ambitious task of doubling the sum this year.
The daunting prospect of grooming, shaping and taming his growing whiskers, was far from clinical pharmacist James Scott’s mind as he joined the team – quite the contrary.
The 25-year-old is dreading shaving off his comfortable stubble and starting afresh.
He said: “I did have to get the green light from my fiancé. She is concerned I’m going to look about 12 without my facial hair. I have not been clean shaven for five years.”
But he will focus on spreading Movember’s strong message – encouraging men to talk about their health and seek treatment.
He said: “Men are not forthcoming in admitting they have a problem. It’s about awareness and channelling that awareness through something that’s light-hearted on the surface but reminding us of something that’s on our minds constantly.”
The men have had no say in the kind of moustache they will be cultivating over the next four weeks. The choice was made long ago by their female colleagues. But some of them, including 39-year-old pharmacy technician Graham Brown, feel a wisp is slightly unrealistic. He said: “Last year I let it grow and didn’t do anything else. I’ll do that again.”
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