As phase two of Men United kicks off and our new advert hits TV screens across the country, Director of Communications, Vivienne Francis explains in this blog why we're focusing on friendship.
If you haven’t already seen our new advert for the latest chapter of Men United, the men above probably won’t look that familiar. They’re the stars, and all of them have a link with prostate cancer. Many have also become firm friends since the filming.
Why is friendship so important? It binds people together. And we know that what starts with a quick "hello", a chat in the pub, or a barbecue with mates can end with a nationwide movement of men ready to fight for their friends, themselves and men everywhere.
And that’s what we need right now.
Men United is our movement for everyone who believes men are worth fighting for. In 2014, 200,000 people came together and took our online awareness test, and more than half pledged their further support. That’s a phenomenal amount of people, and the campaign helped further stamp Prostate Cancer UK and men’s health on the public conscious. But really, this is just the beginning. This year we’re asking everyone to get together with their friends and join Men United.
With all the leaps and bounds we’ve made, the reasons for joining Men United and taking action to improve men’s health are as stark and brutal as ever. Over 10,500 men die from prostate cancer each year, and we estimate that in 2015 300,000 will be living with and after the disease.
Whether it's big or small, signing a petition or running a marathon, doing it together is what really matters. Whatever you do together, you'll be helping us push for real change, from more effective testing to better treatments. We've made some good strides with addressing the injustice around prostate cancer, but with one man an hour still dying of the disease, there is a long way to go.
We know that simply running a poster campaign in GP surgeries won’t get through to many men – hence our three year partnership with the Football League and our work in sport. And it’s no coincidence that we launched Men United this year from a pub – the Men United Arms – as we’ve been invading men’s territory for years to wake them up to the reality of prostate cancer.
At the launch I caught up again with a gent who had been involved in filming our Men United advert in early December last year. He’d received advice from our Specialist Nurses who in his words provided “amazing support to understand this disease, and the treatments I could have.” His section hadn’t made it further than the cutting room floor, but this didn’t trouble him. He just wanted to be involved. his enthusiasm for the campaign was infectious, and he really understood the power of friendship and support.
Join Men United now and help keep friendships alive.