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Since shaving on the 1st of November, our 12 ravens Movember boys have come a long way - not just in terms of raising over £1000 for an amazing charity but their staches have blossomed and their photos are no longer reministent of a Drag Race finale where they have to talk childhood photos of themselves.

Many are counting down at 00:01 on the 1st December to remove the facial fuzz from their upper lips (although the tash may remain a permanent feature for some) and until then many are thankful for wearing masks in public

We're incredibly proud to support a charity so close to our teams hearts but each Movember participant had their individual reasons for taking part which you can read below.

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far - if you'd still like to donate you can do so here:

"Even in 2020 too many of us struggle with being open about our mental and physical health. November is always a dark month for me personally, so I'm glad to be joining my teammates in fundraising for Movember."

- Graeme O'Boyle

Graeme O'Boyle
Matt Hughes

"I’ve had a beard for the last 5 years since leaving the army. Kind of my rebel against shaving everyday (for 12 years) whilst serving. I was diagnosed with Complex PTSD and have suffered quite badly with mental health, hoping to raise money for men’s mental health, suicide awareness, prostate and testicular cancer."

- Matt Hughes

"Last year some colleagues of mine lost a friend to suicide. His friends and ex-team mates decided to participate in MOvember to raise money in his honour. This year I’ve joined my own rugby team and again we’re raising money for men’s mental health and cancer awareness. Half the problem is that men don’t like to admit they need help. Growing a moustache this month is a symbol that it’s ok to admit you’re not ok."

- Gordon Cunningham

Gordon Cunningham
Liam Gordon

"Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for men, especially the young and LGBTQ+, and as we go in to a second lockdown people need support more than ever. We’re a great team and have all helped each other over a very difficult year, so now it’s time to pay it forward and help those who haven’t yet felt able to reach out and admit they’re not doing okay."

- Liam Gordon

"I’m doing Movember because if awareness of mental health conditions was never brought into the public eye, I probably would have never went to get my Tourette’s diagnosed in 2017. Not knowing what was different about me had me in some dark places but getting the help I needed allowed me to learn what my triggers were and most importantly, accept that what made me different."

- Tom Briggs

Tom Briggs
Joe Dickinson

"I personally neglected to acknowledge my own mental health issues for years, to my own detriment. I was worried about how people would view me following a diagnosis and about how I would feel about myself being labelled with depression. However, the decision to seek help was the best thing I ever did. I realised there is no shame in struggling and I am now a different person. I want to do my small part to stop other people falling into the same trap I did and hopefully end up with a top quality tache at the end of it."

- Joe Dickinson

"Mental health has been a driving force in my life for many years now. I’m taking part in Movember to continue to raise awareness around the big issues that currently affect men in today’s society so that we can hopefully one day live in a society where it’s okay to not be okay and that there are sufficient resources out there for men to access."

- Martyn Steel

Martyn Steel
Callum Brown

"Having had both a close family member and a friend affected by testicular cancer and other friends suffer with mental health problems I have seen the impact that this can have on people’s lives. Having been in a position myself where I felt I couldn’t talk to others about how I felt without ridicule, I wanted to do something to encourage men to talk about and seek help for these issues that have so much stigma surrounding them. Movember provides the chance to have some fun whilst raising awareness and some money for men’s cancers and mental health issues. With the effects of another lockdown about to hit, it’s even more important to raise awareness of these very real issues."

- Callum Brown

"When I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, I was led to a very dark place, and a lot of the usual outlets were taken away from me. I made it through by talking to people, by asking for help, and believing that it could and would get better. Now, just over a year on, I’m in a much better place, have a strong support network, and knew I had to take part in MOvember (even though my husband had never seen me clean shaven before) with my new Ravens family, because no one should have to struggle through, thinking they’re alone."

- Terry Potts

Terry Potts
Jonathan Szunko

"It is a well documented fact that men don't like to talk and that this can be linked to poor mental health. By growing a moustache I would hope it says, that if you don't want to talk then that is fine, but if you're struggling I'm always ready to listen. Sometimes just knowing you have someone to talk to, even if you choose not to, is enough."

- Jonathan Szunko

"I am doing Movember to raise awareness for mental health. In these times, one can find that coronavirus is also affecting us from the inside, leaving us feeling lonely and isolated. Thanks to our stupid facial hair, we can both increase the help available to individuals struggling with mental health and remind ourselves to look out for one another, despite not being able to physically keep in touch.
Personally I have struggled with anxiety for most of my life, whether that be in education, in my career (or careers in my case), as well as socially. Thanks to some wonderful friends I made along the way as well as professional help, the effects have subsided for the last few years. However, with the arrival of the pandemic over the last year, I have been faced with new anxiety in the isolation and helplessness that lockdown has incurred, where physical “cures” such as hugs or even handshakes are no longer possible. I’m hoping that, alongside my teammates, we can remind all to keep your social lives going and keep in touch with your fellow men, wether that be on a walk along the beach or having one too many on zoom."

- Chris Knight

Chris Knight
Mike Potter

"As Comms Sec, I asked my teammates to help give back to the community by doing Movember and as the response was so amazing, I was inspired to join them myself. I've previously done other sponsored stuff for cancer charities and I know that many people have struggled with their mental health this year more than ever so I just wanted to help do my part."

- Mike Potter