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Lloyd's colleagues

Movember madness: a growing problem

We speak to four colleagues from across the corporation to reflect on their experiences taking part in Movember 2022 and the impact this has had on them


raised by the SubLime Street team for Movember

Jack Petch

Jack Petch - Senior Manager, Media and PR

I think Movember is a great chance to stop and think about the health issues that disproportionately affect men. Some of the statistics they use, especially around the number of men who take their own life, are genuinely shocking and we need to be calling that out more.

Despite being aimed at men’s charities, normalising the conversation around things like mental health and male cancers ultimately benefits us all and allows us to be there for male colleagues, friends and family members better.

I think the first time I did it was probably about 10 years ago with my rugby club. Safe to say the top lip coverage was a lot patchier then!

The cameraderie of the Movember ‘tache is good fun. A random bloke gave me a tenner in a pub a few years ago because I was sporting a particularly horrible slug – and I think that encapsulates the spirit of it nicely. (He was very drunk).

Movember have done really well to break down the stigma of men’s struggles. I’ve struggled with mental health issues myself, and I’m a real believer in opening the conversation up as much as we can. I also had cancer when I was younger, so I know what amazing work the charities do to support people through it.

It was mainly because I was encouraged by colleagues that I joined in this year though – after all, who can say no to Ben Rogers! I’d forgotten what a chore it was to shave every couple of days, but apart from that it’s been pretty smooth sailing.

I would definitely do it again but a bit like a stricken farmer, I think I need to give the stubble a chance to regenerate for a couple of years, before I do it again.

I would definitely encourage others. Even if you struggle with facial hair, just giving it a go is more than enough.

Tom Hazzard

Tom Hazzard - Communications and Engagement Lead, Futureset

The big motivation for me taking part is raising awareness of men’s health issues, and this year, other charities too! It also reminds me how close to the end of the year we are and that Christmas is only a month away, think of that as you will…

Movember is important because it gets peoples talking. Whether you’re raising money or raising awareness, all you have to do is grow a ‘mo’ and you’re contributing to the conversation around men’s health.  

This is the second year I’ve ‘officially’ taken part, excluding the lockdown beard, which you probably grew too! For the second year in a row, I’ve teamed up with the guys at my local gym to raise money. This year we’ve done things a little different and are raising money for the Falcon Foundation. I think teaming up and being part of a group raising money really adds something extra to the fun behind it. 

Generally, November’s been a great month for me, despite the dark evenings, torrential rain, wind and flooding! That said, it’s typically a tough time of year for many people, keeping strong mentally and looking after your health is so important. For me, exercising and still finding the time to run, play squash and golf helps massively – endorphins really are real folks.  

Lots of looks, smiles and comments (complimentary and in shock), but all have me smile and have hopefully made everyone stop and think about the reason behind the mo.

Chris Harrison

Chris Harrison - Business Graduate Trainee

I see Movember as a collective effort to recognise and raise awareness of men’s health issues. In previous generations I think it’s something that’s been largely ignored, so it’s important to get involved to try help break the stigma surrounding speaking about it.

I first got involved a few years ago with my friends at university. Prior to this I hadn’t taken part in a whole lot of fundraising, so it was a good feeling to give it a go for the first time.

I wouldn’t really want to pin it to one specific reason. I’ve had a few of those closest to me exposed to these issues, but then I think everyone has. No one is ever too far away from them, whether that’s a family member battling cancer, or a friend struggling with their mental health. I think that’s why it’s so important for men to get involved with Movember, because it affects us all in one sense or another.

The last few months have been a big change for me. Moving from Scotland in September to start my new role at Lloyd’s has taken some getting used to, but I feel like I’m adapting well.

I think the office have been generally quite impressed by my moustache-growing efforts so far, I’ve had a lot of compliments on it and some surprised faces.

I’d always encourage others to do it. It requires such little effort and is a great way of raising awareness surrounding men’s health. I haven't raised anywhere near as much as the other guys in the team, but what I’m lacking in donations I’ve made up for in facial hair.

Fundraising is definitely something that's encouraged at Lloyd's. I met with Jessica and Aishah in my first few weeks and they made me aware of all the charitable work we engage in as an organisation. Also, that we’re given a few days a year to raise money for a charity of our choice, it’s not something I can imagine many other companies do.

Ben Rogers

Ben Rogers - Senior Manager, Speeches and Editorial

I think Movember is a great way of raising funds and awareness for a really important cause… but in a way that’s (hopefully) pretty fun and light-hearted. And while the focus is on men’s mental and physical health, the message – that timely conversations make all the difference – is a universal one.

I started getting involved a few years back (if you think the ‘tash is bad today, imagine it three years ago!) – mainly prompted by the devastating stats about the number of men who have never spoken to someone about their mental health (40%), who would say they don’t have any close friends (15%) or who, tragically, end their lives prematurely (75% of suicides are men).

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has lost friends to suicide or prostate/testicular cancer; and while you can’t beat yourself up thinking what could have been done, you never know the difference a timely intervention from a friend, family member or work colleague could have made – to an early diagnosis, or a path back to physical, mental, emotional and financial health.

I think the stakes were upped during the pandemic. Long periods at home, disconnection from others, stress about work and world events… I started to notice a lot of guys around me closing up, shutting off or putting their health last in a long list of priorities. I probably did all three myself. The first sign was that my ability to produce anything creative (pretty key for my role!) was totally blunted for about three months or so… and the final straw was a spell in hospital with what, in hindsight, were stress-related health issues.

All that meant that in 2020, I got involved with a group from my local church and various sports clubs called inCourage – excitingly, now a registered charity – running events and fundraisers around South London to support positive health and wellbeing. We raised over £37,000 across the month, and I think placed second on Movember’s UK fundraising table… behind Lamborghini’s corporate team. So we’ll call that a win for the little guys.

The main challenge has been the public disgrace of a half-baked ‘tash… but I guess I brought that upon myself. Otherwise, it’s been a really encouraging month with lots of good conversations and initiatives. I’d say I’ve noticed a bit of Movember fatigue this year – perhaps because it feels like no time at all since November 2021! – but if that’s a sign the message is sinking in, all good my side.

Movember’s all about getting good conversations going – and nothing gets people talking like dodgy facial hair! Accusations have ranged from Hercules Poirot to Charlie Chaplin (no Tom Hardy comparisons, surprisingly?)… but if it’s getting conversation going, I’m here for it.

I’d definitely encourage people to get involved – and not just in November (or by growing a moustache!). The main goal is to get people checking in on each other, and that’s something we can all do. We spend so much time around each other at work that you might be the best placed person to spot a change in someone’s behaviour, health or outlook. People might be 100% fine, in which case no harm done – but it’s worth asking the question.

For me, I’m trying to make those conversations a more regular part of my friendships… usually over a pint, an overpriced coffee or a non-descript sporting fixture. But that will look different for everyone. And that’s the beauty of it.

Our Lloyd’s team, SubLime Street has raised nearly £650… so just under £1000 with matched funding. That’s mostly small donations from Lloyd’s colleagues, so huge thanks to everyone for their generosity.

I’ve also continued fundraising with inCourage, raising over £1000 for Movember charities (the umbrella for a range of causes) and nearly £10,000 for inCourage itself. Go team!

The backing from Lloyd’s has been huge – in part, the formal support (I’ve been able to take advantage of both a volunteering day and matched funding across the month), but also just the everyday encouragement from people across the Corporation. Moustache quips aside, everyone’s been super supportive – and I think that’s an indicator of the culture we have here: funny, kind, committed.

“I’d definitely encourage people to get involved – and not just in November. The main goal is to get people checking in on each other, and that’s something we can all do. People might be 100% fine, in which case no harm done – but it’s worth asking the question.”
Ben Rogers - Senior Manager, Speeches and Editorial

Community involvement

Insurance has always had a clear social purpose, helping people bounce back from hard times and build confidence in everyday life.

At Lloyd’s, we have a long history of working to support the communities around us. Through the Lloyd’s charities and the support of our market, we helped people and communities become more resilient, more sustainable, and more inclusive for over 200 years.

Jack, Tom, Chris & Ben - Lloyd's

30 Nov 2022