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Movember: Supporting Men’s Health

Movember: Supporting Men’s Health

Are you growing a horseshoe, or a handlebar?  A walrus, or a chopper? Or maybe you’ve decided to devise your own style and reconfigure your facial hair to your own specifications?

I’m asking you men, of course – the men of Edinburgh Napier who are doing their bit for men’s mental and physical health services by growing a moustache for the month of November. Whatever style you go for, we’re delighted that you’re supporting the various projects across mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer. By signing up and getting sponsored, you’ll not only fundraise but, perhaps more importantly, you’ll be visible, and your visibility will start a conversation. Sometimes men are reluctant to discuss intimate health concerns, but talking is a vital starting point for both physical and mental well-being.

History

The Movember movement started in Australia, a country with a reputation – warranted or not – for a macho culture that discourages discussions of male health. It’s all the more to their credit that two “Mo Bros” turned that on its head in 2003. In that year they raised no money, but since then the movement has gone worldwide and raised millions for men’s health projects.

Get Involved this Movember in Supporting Men’s Health

If you want to be involved in the movement, or support it quietly in your own way, you can find out how to do that here. https://uk.movember.com

Many UK projects are being supported by Movember this year. Everything from farming and rural community support to digital skills improvement. And there are prizes to be won. To be in with a chance of winning, why not start your own Big Moustache on Campus challenge. To find out what that’s all about, see here:

https://uk.movember.com/mospace/network/moustacheoncampus

And don’t forget to pop into any of our campus libraries to show off your whiskers. We’d love to salute your chevron!

By Lesley McRobb

Image Source: Photo by Alan Hardman on Unsplash

Read more articles on Mental Health such as World Mental Health Day.

Remembrance Day and The Poppy

World War One, Remembrance Day and The Poppy

The battles of the First World War (WWI) devastated the countryside of Western Europe. One of the plants that survived the churned-up battlefields was the poppy. As the soldiers saw scarlet poppies bloom through the terrible destruction, they were encouraged to see that life could recover. One soldier, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was inspired to write the poem, In Flanders Fields, in the spring of 1915. 

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky 

The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie, 

 In Flanders fields

Take up our quarrel with the foe: 

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Subsequently, Since WW1 the poppy has become the universal emblem of remembrance, symbolising the sacrifices that soldiers in past wars made for us. 

The Selling of Poppies

In the United Kingdom, artificial poppies are sold by the Royal British Legion in the run-up to 11th November (Poppy Day). Importantly this is when the Armistice (an agreement to end the fighting) began at 11am on 11th November 1918. Furthermore, sales from the poppies go to providing financial, social and emotional support to British Armed Forces serving soldiers, former soldiers and their dependents. This year is the centenary of the UK Poppy Appeal. 

The original Poppy Days were created by Madame Guerin to raise funds for the French widows and orphans of the War. In 1921 she took samples of her artificial poppies to the Royal British Legion and proposed an Inter-Allied Poppy Day during which all WW1 allied countries use artificial poppies as an emblem of remembrance.

The poppies would be made by French widows and orphans and raise funds for the families of the fallen as well as survivors of the conflict. Although the idea was initially not well received by the British public, the WW1 British Army commander Earl Haig was keen, and after that, when the Royal British Legion held its first Poppy Day on 11th November 1921, it was a great success. Those first poppies were made in France, but from 1922 British veterans made the poppies at the Richmond factory which now employs 50 ex-servicemen all year round. In 1926 Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory in Edinburgh was established to produce poppies for Scotland. Over 5 million Scottish poppies are made by hand each year. 

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