Belfast Movember bake sale 1

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Team Belfast

By Dr Chris Armstrong, Belfast

In 2014, the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) in Belfast became part of a Movember Centre of Excellence together with researchers and clinicians at the University of Manchester. The primary focus of this partnership is on recurrent prostate cancer, improving methods of detection and personalised treatment. We’re also conducting research into refining and improving radiotherapy, with the aim of preventing recurrence.

Last month, Movember returned to the CCRCB with a bang, as staff and students actively participated in another year of mo growing, fundraising and increasing awareness of men’s health issues. In a new twist on an old tale, we put a big focus on physical activity this year as part of Movember’s new initiative – MOVE – which encourages participants to exercise more over a 30 day period. The 2015 Movember campaign was incredibly successful overall and included joint fundraising efforts with the Belfast Health Trust.

This year’s campaign was slightly different from our previous efforts and incorporated a bigger focus on raising awareness of men’s health issues. To enable this, we partnered with our colleagues in the hospital in an attempt to close the gap between researchers, clinicians and other staff employed by the Health Trust. We held events including a spin-a-thon outside the Cancer Centre, a moustache-themed bake sale, a manly pub quiz and a pedometer challenge, where we challenged participants to take over 100,000 steps in two weeks. The spin-a-thon event at the hospital site was particularly rewarding and provided us with the chance to chat directly with patients from the Cancer Centre and talk to them about the research going on over the road.

Belfast Centre of Excellence Spin-a-thon

On a final note, there’s always a bit of unspoken rivalry with our Manchester Centre of Excellence colleagues around Movember. We have to congratulate them on a very successful campaign this year, as they raised over £1,500, compared to our £650. I suppose if we were really competitive we could use the excuse that our fundraising was split with the Health Trust…. but we are prepared to stand tall and admit defeat! Congratulations Manchester, as well at the Belfast Trust!

We look forward to next year’s rivalry, but with Movember men’s health is the real winner from this campaign!

Team Manchester

And an additional note from Team Manchester...

A team of walkers from the Manchester arm of the Belfast-Manchester Movember Centre of Excellence plan to take part in The Keswick to Barrow walk, a sponsored walk in the Lake District, to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK. It’s quite a challenge – the route covers forty miles in a single day.

Approximately 2,000 walkers usually take part to raise funds for a range of charities. Those of us from Manchester who’ve done this before have thoroughly enjoyed the event. As this year is a special event - the 50th walk - and to promote the Movember Centres of Excellence, we wondered if the Belfast and London sites would like to join us in entering teams into this walk?

To find out more about the walk you can do so either at the website (http://keswick2barrow.co.uk/) or by contacting me (via research@prostatecanceruk.org).

The walk takes place on the 7th May 2016, but team registration will open at 12:00 mid-day on the 18th January 2016. Teams are entered on a first come first served basis and generally all teams are entered by early February.

To register a team each individual walker must be registered on the site as a member and the resulting membership number / walker number is used in the team registration. Walkers in the teams can be altered later but additional teams cannot be registered once the walk is full.  

If we have teams entered from each site it will provide an opportunity for researchers from different sites to meet up and it may even be possible to set up a friendly competition between sites for most funds raised / fastest team home etc. I look forward to hearing from you and hope you will join Manchester in this event.