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.
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!