A TRUCK driver whose dad is battling prostate cancer has been part of a team bristling with enthusiasm about a fund-raising drive to raise awareness of men’s health.
An eight-strong group from McCarthy Distribution put their razors away and took part in Movember, an annual, month-long fundraiser in which men ‘grow a mo’ in support of male health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
Staff at the Wrexham Industrial Estate firm, had the chance to scoop £100 worth of cash prizes for the best ‘tache’ at the end of the month. The firm also donated the same amount to the cause and raised more money by holding a company-wide Movember quiz.
Information about Movember was also displayed on company notice boards, along with photographs of participants showing their facial hair growing progress.
Truck Driver George Kewley, 46, a father-of-two, who ended up scooping the top prize which he has donated to Prostate Cancer UK, explained he had a personal reason for taking part as his father, Ted, 66, who lives in Preston, has the disease.
“Thankfully things are looking good for my dad,” said George, who lives in Ruthin. “The pills he has been on for the past year have definitely helped him, although they have not totally got rid of the cancer.
“I appreciate how important it is that money is raised to help support research and that awareness is raised of men’s health issues.
“That includes mental health and I would urge anybody who feels down to speak to somebody, as the help is out there.”
George’s colleague, Spencer Cameron-Waller, a Forklift Truck Driver, said the cause was important to him as a friend took his own life several years ago.
“I know from personal experience how important it is that awareness is raised about mental health issues,” said Spencer, 49, of Froncysyllte, near Llangollen.
“It was incredibly sad when my friend died. I had spoken to him that day and all seemed fine. It came as a total shock when I later found out what had happened to him.
“It really was a tragedy. It shows how important it is that men who are feeling low realise they can talk to someone and be helped.
“One of the biggest causes of male death is suicide. Men can struggle to open up about how they are feeling.
“I hope that by taking part in this we are raising awareness that the support is there for those who need it.”
Customer Services Department worker Lewis Williams, 23, was one of the youngest participants.
“It has been a bit of fun and we have all enjoyed taking part,” said Lewis, of Summerhill, Wrexham. “I am glad to have been involved, but the moustache will be going as soon as the challenge ends.
“Although I haven’t been directly affected by cancer or mental health issues, I recognise how important it is to help spread the word.”
The other members of the team to take part were Managing Director Mike McCarthy, drivers Harry Jones, Paul Jones and Nick Mogg and finance department member Ian Carter.
Mike McCarthy was judged as having the second best moustache but exempted himself from the cash prizes so second place went to Lewis Williams and Spencer Cameron-Waller took third place.
McCarthy Distribution Managing Director Mike McCarthy said he was thankful for the commitment shown by team members.
He said: “It is helping raise awareness for the cause and it has been good to see how the moustaches have grown as staff have joined in the fun.
“There’s been a lot of fun, but there has also been an important message about supporting what Movember stands for and I think it has got us all thinking and talking about men’s health issues which was one of the main aims we had.
“I am very grateful for all the support people across the business have shown.”
In accordance with competition rules, the McCarthy Distribution team reached for their razors and waved goodbye to their facial hair on December 1.