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Movember: A History

5th November 2012

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So it's reached that time of year again for blokes around the world to forget the daily shave and embrace the more fuzzy facial look.

November the 1st annually sees hundreds of thousands of Movember 'Mo Bros' start off the month totally clean shaven in a bid to start growing and maintaining a moustache for the entire month.

Intricate rules apply - strictly no beards or goatees, and all Mo Bros must go about their daily lives in a gentlemanly manner.

Of course, this isn't just for a laugh - the whole aim of the movement is to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancers.

With the campaign having spread so far and wide in the last few years, it is inevitable that anyone who is anyone will know exactly what it's all about when they see a moustache in November.

We're going to take a little look at where it all began...

The term 'Movember' is said to have first been coined in 1999 by a group of men from Adelaide, who became known as the 'Movember Committee' after kicking off the idea of growing moustaches for charity throughout the month of November.

The charity they focused their efforts on were the RSPCA , subsequently leading them to label their campaign as 'growing whiskers for whiskers' - and raising a lot of their funds through selling T-shirts.

However, in 2004, a completely unrelated group in Melbourne, Australia took the term into their own hands.

They organised an event where 30 men would grow moustaches for the 30 days in November to raise awareness for male depression and prostate cancer.

This group soon became the Movember Foundation charity, which initially only promoted Movember in Australia and New Zealand.

All proceeds in the two countries went (and still go to) the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, the Cancer Society and the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.

It wasn't long before news of the moustached phenomenon reached across the pond, as in 2007 the Foundation set up campaigns in various countries including the United Kingdom, Canada, Spain and the United States.

Each national campaign partnered up with the main charities for prostate cancer from each country - the UK's being The Prostate Cancer Charity.

As well as reaching the Republic of Ireland in 2008, the campaign has spread even further out to Belgium, South Africa, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway and the Czech Republic.

In 2011, 854,000 people got on board with Movember and raised the equivalent of £79.3 million all across the world.

This is an astronomical rise in annual funds since the very start in 2004 - an increase of £79.2 million from a comparatively humble £21,600.

2011 also saw the biggest annual rise in registrants - 854,288 compared to 2010's 447,808.

As the support and participation for Movember continues to grow, 2012 looks to be its best year yet as it once again puts moustaches on the map.

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