Every November, a special movement picks up mo-mentum and grows across New Zealand and across the faces of men around the world. Movember was back in force in 2023, raising awareness and funding for men’s mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer.
Movember is the leading charity changing the face of men’s health, most well known for championing the mo-growing initiative each November with the same namesake. Started in 2003, Movember has funded 1,320 men’s health projects across the world and has grown from 30 moustached men to over six million ‘rock stars’ of all genders getting stuck in for the cause.
The AJ Hackett Bungy crew in New Zealand are no strangers to sporting a fine specimen of facial hair, and for Movember 2023 it was important to a group of Queenstown bungy lads that their workmates and loved ones knew the event’s impact runs deep, right down to the follicle.
It was very important to the Movember Committee, Daniel, Shaunna, Chris, Andrew, and Mark, to make the initiative a company-wide effort and get as many crew on board as possible. Although the official fundraising team was six-strong, the entire Kawarau Bungy and Nevis Playground crew participated in events like Shit Shirt Day and an organised group walk at Bob’s Cove.
In previous years there have been a few crew members diligently growing moustaches on the quiet, but for the crew to recognise and raise awareness for the cause en-masse in such a visual way, really made this year’s Movember stand out. The events and efforts of the team raised just over $1,000 for Movember.
For Movember Committee member Chris Fahey, the month-long event was all about looking out for those around him.
“I’m incredibly lucky I have pretty solid mental health but I know a lot of people don’t, and they try to hide it and be strong,” said Chris. “So anything to get rid of that stigma is incredibly important. As well as this my dad had testicular cancer when I was younger, so getting funding and awareness for that is very important to me.”
“This one’s for all the guys out there who don’t know they can speak up. We all go through rough patches, we all have a past, but most of all we all have a right to be heard and loved. Don’t be afraid to speak up and don’t be afraid to help this cause,” said Andrew, also a crew member on the bungy Movember team.
Movember was epic and the mo-tivation is continuing. Bungy and our crew know that looking out for each other, for our health, for our customers, and for our loved ones is an on-going job. The negative stigma of mental health challenges will continue to be broken down and be replaced with a culture of sparking chats to ensure everyone is doing okay. If not, the support is there from all of the Mo Bros and Mo Sisters and we want that to be the same for any Kiwi struggling.
The foundations of Movember can be used to build a strong wharenui of wellbeing, like the Te Whare Tapa Whā model, that looks out for all the dads, brothers, sons, and mates in our lives year-round.
The month’s lucious moustaches may also have an opportunity to continue their growth, as a few of the lads intend to rock them throughout summer until it’s decided that the SULA is unbearable!