Movember @ LSS 2021
The school’s annual campaign to raise awareness of men’s health issues amongst our students.
What is Movember really about?
This is the question that I have been discussing in my assemblies over the last few weeks. Traditionally, the answer would have always been that it is about growing moustaches to raise awareness of men’s health issues. The Movember catchphrase of ‘changing the face of men’s health’ springs to mind. The other obvious responses would be to talk about testicular cancer, prostate cancer and mental health / suicide prevention.
Whilst all of these are undoubtedly important, I think that Movember is way more than that. For me, our campaign has always been about the health of each and everyone within our school, regardless of age and gender.
This year, in particular I have been trying to reinforce this idea by talking about some of the experiences of former students. For example, my own inspiration for starting Movember came from a student called Tom. He attended one of the Movember assemblies organised by Mr Riley in 2013 where two nurses discussed testicular cancer. He had already found a lump previously but had thought he was too young to have testicular cancer and so ignored it. With the encouragement of his girlfriend, Tom went to the doctors, was diagnosed with testicular cancer and made a successful recovery.
However, my biggest inspiration for this campaign has been Sandev Hingulage. I taught Sandev for 5 years and he was the model student: hardworking, intelligent and incredibly humble. More than that though, he was really kind and went out of his way to be nice to other people. When he was in year 12, Sandev was diagnosed with a rare non curable cancer (Ewing Sarcoma). Despite this, he continued with his studies between radiotherapy and chemotherapy sessions achieving his lifelong goal of getting into medicine. His resilience and positivity throughout his illness were remarkable and he never once complained about his situation. At the start of October, we received the sad news that Sandev had passed away. For me, the stories of these two former students and others who have had different illnesses reinforce the importance of a regular health campaign and getting the students involved with what we do.
So what have we done as a school throughout the month?
We are really grateful to Dr John Marlow for coming into school twice this month to talk to our students about mental health and suicide prevention. Alongside this, students have been giving their own input on strategies that work for them and these have been posted on daily notices. As in previous years, we have been encouraging students to take up a fitness challenge throughout the month and there have been sporting events organised for each year group. Finally, on Wednesday 24th November, we had a full non-uniform day which raised £838.64 for the Teenage Cancer Trust and a cake sale organised by the Student Council which collected £413.33 for Movember
John Gaffin Head of Modern Foreign Languages