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Beard growing challenge to raise money for prostate cancer

OctoBeardFest follows huge success of Movember

OctoBeardFest campaign 

A month-long challenge to grow a beard is hoping to follow the success of Movember in raising money for prostate cancer charities.

OctoBeardFest launched last year, encouraging 150 men to grow a beard for the month of October. It raised £64,000 for Surrey based charity The Prostate Project in 2013 and ambitions are high for this October, with organisers setting a target of £200,000.

Tim Sharp, trustee of the charity and founder of the appeal, said: “We were blown away by the amount we raised last year with only a five week launch period and a very small team. This year we are better prepared with a dedicated website, more support material and a bigger team to sell the idea.”

Several facial hair challenges have emerged in recent years since the huge success of Movember, which encourages men to grow moustaches for the month of November. Other similar challenges include Beating Bowel Cancer's Decembeard.

The organisers of OctoBeardFest stressed the differences between the goals of its campaign and Movember, stating that the beard-growing challenge concentrates exclusively on early diagnosis and treatment.

This is important as 35,000 men are told they have prostate cancer every year in the UK and 11,000 die of the disease. Men whose cancer is diagnosed early have an 80% chance of a complete cure.

To date, the team have built an international reputation for their work in vaccine, genes and immunotherapy in addition to their discovery of a protein (EN2) in that urine can detect cancer cells 50% more accurately than the 30-year-old PSA test.

To take part, men have to grow a beard during October and get five people to sponsor them for £5 each. Women and children can participate by downloading a beard mask from the OBF website and buy official merchandise.

Article by
Kirstie Pickering

17th September 2014

From: Marketing

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