International Men’s Day in the UK takes place on 19 November every year and is celebrated around the world in at least 60 countries.
There are three core themes for International Men’s Day in the UK. They are:
Making a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys
Raising awareness and/or funds for charities supporting men and boys’ wellbeing
Promoting a positive conversation about men, manhood and masculinity
These core themes help to address some of the issues that affect men and boys such as:
The high male suicide rate
The challenges faced by boys and men at all stages of education including attainment and re-skilling
Men’s health (including male cancers), shorter life expectancy and workplace deaths
The challenges faced by the most marginalised men and boys in society (for instance, homeless men, boys in care and the high rate of male deaths in custody)
Male victims of violence, including sexual violence
The challenges faced by men as parents, particularly new fathers and separated fathers
Male victims and survivors of sexual abuse, rape, sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, forced marriage, honour-based crime, stalking and slavery
The negative portrayal of men, boys and fathers
Every year, International Men’s Day in the UK is marked by more and more women, men and organisations across the country. Across November 2020 in the UK there was a Parliamentary debate, policy launches, employer days, community events, health days, business events, debates, student events, political events, gigs, conferences, competitions, comedy nights and charity fundraisers – the most anywhere in the world.
This year, a team of seven from North Wales Police have formed a ‘Movember Team’, led by North Wales Police Federation General Secretary Mark Jones. Whether it is moving 60k over the month, growing a dodgy moustache or just being proud to shout about improving men’s health then all help was gratefully received.
Mark said: “(We were) Off to a good start with the fundraising. I am close to £300 and the team collectively is inches away from £750! There is actually a league table of other UK Police teams so there is some friendly competition!
“I am taking a daily photo as the ‘Mo Grows’. I have photos from the clean shave on day 1 and will keep taking.
“In terms of why I’m doing it? Since being in the Federation Secretary role, my eyes have been really opened on just how many colleagues are struggling with their mental health. Some more severe than others but nevertheless there are plenty of fellow colleagues who are suffering. Likewise, we have very sadly lost a couple of male colleagues to cancer and know of others who are fighting the disease presently.
“Men can be the worse at discussing how they are feeling. Despite all the work being done it still takes something to, figuratively, hold up your hand and ask for help. It is heartbreaking when someone decides to take their own life. The despair, the anguish, the pain left behind. Anything we can do to stop this; get men help and support and fight the diseases which take lives far too soon; has to be a good thing.
“Like every family; we have suffered our bereavements, we have suffered our losses, we have endured rough times. This is why Movember is so important to me.
“I had visions of grandeur in perfecting the handlebar moustache. Sadly that was not to be after the first shaping shave in which I totally messed up and made the handlebars lopsided! Now I’m going for the classic top-lip fuzz!
“The Police Federation have been immensely proud to support the force efforts in the PSA testing from the very start. This has had some outstanding results and, unquestionably, has saved lives as it has given that early indication for a colleague to go and get further tests and treatment.
“It would be great to raise as much money as possible for the outstanding work of the Movember charity.”
Donations for the team can be made via: https://uk.movember.com/team/2375079.