Happy Birthday MUG – Don’t forget the bumps and check those lumps

Happy Birthday MUG – Don’t forget the bumps and check those lumps (1)

Thursday 12 February 2015

From charity partners such as Prostate Cancer Guernsey and Bowel Cancer Guernsey to SHARE and the Health Promotion Unit, MUG has worked closely with a number of cancer awareness groups since its inception.

The charity set out to raise £250,000 in three years and increase awareness of prostate, testicular and bowel cancer on the island. Founder Trevor Kelham explains: 'We wanted to kick-start a male health awareness movement, to get men talking about their health and become more proactive with taking potential health problems to the doctor in a timely fashion. Nothing would have been achieved without the help of people across the island.'

Arguably the charity's most significant achievement has been to commit funds to pay for Guernsey's first specialist uro-oncology nurse, Pierre Hervé. Pierre's role includes helping male urological patients who are undergoing treatment for bladder, prostate and kidney cancers. His support work includes the diagnosis, treatment and recovery stages of their cancer care.

John Dempster, from Prostate Cancer Guernsey comments: 'Pierre, the specialist nurse, has been in his new post for nearly a year and he has certainly had an effect. He is having the game- changing effect we had hoped for.'

The charity has also been behind a number of cancer awareness campaigns. The 2013 Check Your Balls campaign saw local sports stars strip for a cheeky campaign that had a positive impact on testicular cancer awareness on the island. 'Numbers of men presenting to their GP with concerns over testicular lumps went up nearly 100 per cent after the campaign,' says consultant urologist and MUG council member, Owen Cole.

The charity also helped to supply SHARE with an educational film, testicular models and new materials to use in classes about testicular cancer. The Guernsey Cricket Board also got involved to ensure the message was driven home to young men via a special MUG cricket box.

'SHARE is so grateful for the way MUG has help to transform our testicular cancer lesson by funding a fresh and relevant film for local young men and providing models, leaflets and cricket boxes.

'All boys have a testicular cancer lesson and see the MUG film before they leave school. We know this has had a major impact on local young men seeking help and early diagnosis.

'MUG is now very well known locally and students have also really appreciated Dan Collins, testicular cancer survivor, coming into schools to share his experience,' says Julie Duquemin, Sexual Health and Relationship Educator.

2014 saw the charity join forces with Bowel Cancer Guernsey and together they urged islanders to think carefully about their diet. Di Matthews from the Health Promotion Unit and Myfanwy Datta, lead dietitian from the Princess Elizabeth Hospital, worked alongside the two charities.

In the summer of 2014 MUG again got behind the Health Promotion Unit with the Louis the Lobster 'cream up before it shows up' campaign, urging islanders to get sun smart. Diane Matthews from the Health Promotion Unit comments: I always enjoy working with MUG because they are an innovative charity with lots of energy. They are experts at taking a very serious issue and making it more accessible and interesting for the public.'

The charity has invested in a male health conference, several pieces of medical equipment to help cancer patients, specialist items to support research specimen collection, and has supported the CAN Move exercise classes and Macmillan Cancer Relief Hope courses. The team has also worked closely with sports such as football, golf, cricket, boxing, basketball, rugby and hockey with sponsorship and in turn the teams have pledged to raise money for the charity. 'Our partnerships with sport do two things - they raise awareness of health issues and have helped us raise more funds - together these have been our core objectives over the last three years,' says Trevor.

MUG looks back over the last 36 months, with 36 things the people of Guernsey have helped the charity achieve…

  1. MUG council members danced to Swan Lake and help raise £20,000 for the charity; they've run marathons (and beat Lee Merrien!) and dressed up as mugs
  2. Guernsey FC got behind the charity and the team has warmed up in MUG kit to help raise awareness of male cancers
  3. MUG recognised the achievements of Robin Roussel and mounted his cricket bat to display in the Roussel Pavilion
  4. MUG has paid for four pieces of high-tech medical equipment including and important bladder screening machine
  5. £15,000 was raised by 450 riders at the first Dominion MUG Mountain Bike Ride; the event is now a bi-annual charity ride
  6. Nine riders cycled from Land's End to John O'Groats and raised £10,000 for MUG
  7. Over 100 healthcare professionals attended a men's health conference organised and paid for by MUG
  8. MUG was the first charity to register as a Guernsey Foundation
  9. Testicular models were bought for SHARE lessons in secondary schools
  10. MUG council member, Dan Collins, has talked candidly about his experience of testicular cancer in schools, the prison and businesses across the island
  11. Trevor Kelham took part in the Dancefloor Challenge to help raise funds and awareness
  12. MUG lost its balls at the Dancefloor Challenge, but thanks to Sueco we found them again!
  13. Garry Adams attempted to walk 100 miles around Footes Lane in 24 hours and raised thousands of pounds
  14. MUG was chosen as one of the charities supported by the Heritage Motor Festival and got to drive fast cars!
  15. Goldridge Estate Agents sponsored GFA player Dominic Heaume and MUG received cash every time he scored
  16. MUG's blue 'taches have been seen around the world, from America to Singapore and the UAE
  17. Deloitte and Appleby have batted it out at several charity cricket matches to show their support and numerous other businesses have raised money and hosted health awareness days for staff
  18. Alan Benham rode 985 miles and raised over £2,000 for MUG
  19. MUG has been treated to tea, sailed in yacht races and taken flight at the Harbour Carnivals
  20. Sports stars including Martin Yabsley, Jason Winch and Ryan-Zico Black stripped off for the Check Your Balls campaign; sports clubs around the island showed their support
  21. MUG drove the Check Your Balls and bowel cancer message home by advertising on the back of a bus…and put stickers on toilets around the island
  22. TV presenter Gary Burgess presented an educational film to teach young men about testicular cancer and thousands of cricket boxes were given to boys as a reminder of what they should do if concerned about a lump
  23. Sir Bradley Wiggins came to Guernsey and helped raise thousands of pounds at a special gala dinner
  24. Dozens of men have grown moustaches and waxed their chests and legs, all to help MUG carry on its cancer awareness work. Others have climbed mountains and done crazy things to raise money…too many to mention, but all thanked by the charity
  25. Friends of the charity and council members have shown their support for women by helping the Pink Ladies with their charity walk and have supported victims of domestic violence by walking a mile in high heels
  26. Dan and Ray ate the world's hottest chillies at the Victoria Arms' chilli eating contest
  27. MUG joined forces with Island FM and New Look with the big 1D ticket prize draw
  28. MUG won the 2014 Awards for Achievement Marketing Award for the Check Your Balls campaign
  29. Hundreds of islanders received the 'cream up before it shows up' sun smart message and met Louis the Lobster
  30. MUG has been supported by the Guernsey FA with the under-21 Muratti team wearing a special MUG kit in 2014 and the under-21s warmed up in MUG gear before their recent Northern Ireland match
  31. MUG secured £130,000 to fund a specialist uro-oncology nurse for three years
  32. Working alongside Bowel Cancer Guernsey the charity helped islanders become bowel cancer savvy in 2014
  33. Working with MUG, Gareth Corbett ran two ultra marathons and raised over £6,000 to help fund the Can Move cancer exercise classes
  34. Golf, hockey, cricket, boxing and cycling have all got behind the charity and shared their support
  35. MUG scooped two accolades at the 2014 Community Awards: Fundraising Team of the Year and Trevor Kelham won Outstanding Individual Achievement
  36. MUG has been supported by countless businesses, individuals, foundations and trusts and we thank you all