Made possible with funds raised during the annual Movember moustache-growing campaign, the ManVan is an American-style motorhome, converted to bring dedicated cancer support to communities throughout Wales. It will bring much needed advice and support to men affected by prostate or testicular cancer in areas where such services are currently lacking.
2,600 men are diagnosed with prostate or testicular cancer every year in Wales, with prostate cancer incidence rates 25% higher in Wales per head of population compared to the UK overall. Survival rates are improving, however this means there are more men now living with, and beyond, cancer, and coping with the physical and psychological side effects which come with it.
The 38 foot van will bring one-to-one counselling, couples’ counselling, group support and benefits advice to men living in deprived or hard-to-reach rural areas. There will also be a range of educational talks available for men and local health professionals as well as a huge amount of information for men and their families to take away.
Claudia McVie, Chief Executive, Tenovus said: "We want to improve the support available to men with prostate or testicular cancer in Wales by bringing vital services directly to them. We know men aren’t always comfortable talking about their worries, so we’ve designed the space specifically with them in mind.
"We have years of experience delivering mobile cancer care into the heart of communities and now thanks to The Movember Foundation and Prostate Cancer UK, we can start to reach men who otherwise often go unsupported."
Sarah Coghlan, UK Country Director, Movember said: "We're delighted to see the launch of the ManVan. One of our priorities is to fund services that support men living with prostate and testicular cancer and to address the areas that need it most. We are extremely proud that funds raised by Mo Bros and Mo Sistas have fuelled this project which will make a significant difference to the lives of men in Wales faced with these diseases."
Heather Blake, Director of Services, Prostate Cancer UK said: "We are very pleased to be working with Tenovus and The Movember Foundation to provide this unique service for men. Men who are treated for prostate cancer often have to deal with serious side effects, and the emotional and psychological impact can also be challenging for men and their families.
"We know from the Welsh Cancer Patient Experience Survey that, although there have been great improvements in the treatment and care for men with prostate cancer in recent years, access to support such as key workers or advice in the community continues to be patchy. Broadening access to these kinds of services is incredibly important if we are to help more men have a better quality of life in the future. Through the work of the ManVan, we will be taking vital steps forward to bridge the gap."
Movember Ambassador and Welsh rugby star George North adds: "After joining the Movember journey and growing a Mo in 2013 I am really pleased to hear about this significant investment into men’s health in Wales. Whilst Movember is a bit of fun growing daft moustaches, it’s great to also know that our efforts are making a real difference. I encourage the men of Wales to make use of the 'ManVan' service and to continue supporting Movember’s vision to change the face of men’s health."