Exeter students top UK leaderboards fundraising for Movember
The University of Exeter has once again taken on Movember with numerous students, societies and sports clubs taking on challenges.
As of 23 November, the University of Exeter has raised £149,904 , placing seventh in the UK challenges leaderboard and first above all other universities. This tops last year’s achievement of £84,368.
Exeposé spoke to students and societies about the efforts they have made in raising money for Movember, from sporting a moustache to running marathons.
We organised a talk discussing the hardships of mental health and suicide and how to counteract some of the effects of depression and anxiety, all within a cricket framework in order to be accessible to our membersLoren, EULCC
Loren Dean shared with Exeposé the activities of Exeter Ladies Cricket Club:
“As a club, we are attempting to raise as much money as possible for the cause whilst also ensuring the message for Movember is at the forefront of all that we are doing.
“For example, our welfare secretary organised a great talk from Mark at ‘Opening Up Cricket’ discussing the hardships of mental health and suicide and how to counteract some of the effects of depression and anxiety with measures such as journaling and being grateful, all within a cricket framework in order to be accessible to our members – something that is especially important at this point during our second lockdown.
“Additionally, as a club, we are challenging each other to partake in the MoveforMo aspect of Movember by running a competition among our 8 family groups, each having a week to do as much running as they can alongside their studies and in keeping with government guidelines and fundraising through this.”
Dean noted the individual actions of club members in fundraising, citing two members from the same household who pledged to walk from Exeter to Exmouth with their cricket bags on their back towards the end of the month.
One member pledged to go Vegan for the month, while another stated they would dye their hair pink if they raised more than £237, which was the total the individual raised last year.
One member “had initially pledged to attempt a triathlon every weekend during the month of November, this has been adapted due to lockdown restrictions – so she has decided to challenge herself, following the important theme of 60km for 60 men who lose their lives to suicide each hour, by cycling 120 times the average length of an entire boundary rope on a cricket field and running 240 times the distance between the wickets, 22 yards.”
It is so easy to overexert yourself mentally or not be aware of something feeling wrong with your healthBella, Acting Society
Phaedra Leveridge from Women’s Rugby reported that the club had travelled 835.74km on the 14 November to raise money for the cause.
“We’re keen to get involved as we’ve seen how the pandemic has affected health – men’s especially. It’s a worthy cause that we all want to get behind!”
Some societies took a different approach to Movember fundraising. Bella Coldstream, welfare officer for Acting Society, spoke of the society’s fundraising activities:
“As a committee, we are trying to keep our fundraising activities partly in keeping with our motivations as a society. So every day we are learning a new tongue twister and posting regular videos on our Instagram story of how well or badly we are doing with them!
“As well as this, we’ve set ourselves a challenge of 40 sit-ups a day since sport is not our forté, but we thought it would be a good challenge.
“Our interest in Movember comes from a passion to support men in looking after their mental and physical health – it is so easy to overexert yourself mentally or not be aware of something feeling wrong with your health.”
This is David’s third year in a row doing Movember. This year he has vowed to run 75km to represent 75% of suicides being men – “a tall order because I’ve never really run before”, he added.
When asked what motivated his efforts, he observed: “the main one for me was the mental health side of it. Obviously, their work with testicular and prostate cancer is incredibly important too, but the mental health aspect was a big part for me.”
AU President Ben Hart spoke of the efforts of AU clubs in raising money:
“Many of the clubs are doing some really great things and I can’t speak highly enough of those individuals and all that they’re doing for this great cause. For example, the Athletics Club are aiming to run 359 miles as a club on Sunday 15th November, for the number of average suicides per month in the UK last year. Other clubs are still finding ways to stay competitive throughout the Lockdown period, the Tennis Club have paired people up for a running challenge and are seeing who can cover the most distance in 48 hours. There have of course been countless head shaves and a lot of facial hair doing the rounds in the streets of Exeter too!
“Movember is so important to me because the way people come together and raise money as part of a team or a club embodies how we all have a role to play in widening the conversations around mental health, prostate and testicular cancer, and generally working as a team to achieve tangible, lasting change. I believe that we are all doing our utmost to breakdown the stigma around mental health within the University community and to encourage people to speak up about how they’re feeling, and also to check in on their friends and family. The total that we have raised so far is phenomenal. I think it shows just how selfless and passionate our students are about helping others and as the objective for Movember says, changing the face of men’s health.”
VP Activities Liv Harvey noted:
“Getting involved with fundraising at Exeter is such a brilliant thing to get involved with. I’m always blown away by how incredible the students that do get involved manage to raise, including for Movember this year! I’d really encourage everyone to do their bit – there are a huge number of causes you can support, and you can really make a difference.
“We launched a new fundraising platform for societies a couple of weeks ago, which has raised over £2000 so far! Our Activities team are ready to support anyone who wants to get involved with fundraising, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with them if you’re interested!”
Outside of the context of the University, Exeter students have raised money for Movember on their own terms too. After the recent loss of his friend Zak, Will and his friends formed a team called ‘In Loving Memory of Zak McMorran’ which has received donations from celebrities such as Tim Vine, Tom Grennan and Darren Bent.
While the team are all spread across the country, “we are planning on doing a wolf run and a marathon next year in his honour”, Will noted.
The team have raised £43,393 so far and have topped the UK’s Team Leaderboard.