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Movember Remembers 'Missing Fathers' This Father's Day

Working with Weber Shandwick, Movember created 'Missing Father's Day Cards' to highlight the thousands of men lost to poor health in the UK

By Emma Vernon

To celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday, men’s health charity Movember has created a brand-new set of seven ‘Missing Father’s Day’ cards in a new cross-channel campaign to shine a light on the thousands of men lost to poor health and the families impacted by it. 

Men’s poor health can have a long-lasting and profound impact on those around them.  And a man’s death can deeply impact all those who knew them.

That’s why this Father’s Day, to challenge perceptions of men’s health and move towards a more open and supportive culture, Movember is launching a campaign outside of it’s well-known fund-raising month of November, With a set of commemorative cards, featuring poems and illustrations, based on real stories of real fathers who have gone too soon.

The seven cards feature a short poem and drawing based on families’ favourite memories and stories of their fathers, devised and written by Weber Shandwick, with illustrations by Andrew Rae. Remembering the fathers of Beth Jones, Gareth Cox, Harry Cleary, Stevie Scott, Georgie Padley, Katy Martins, and Will Castle, the cards feature illustrations of them playing the drums on the sofa, crabbing in Devon and singing concerts in cars. 

In 2019, Stevie Scott lost her dad to prostate cancer. Known for his selflessness and putting himself above others; speaking about the impact her dad had, Stevie said: “He was such a family-orientated man, who would do anything for my sister, mum and I. The way he lived has made me value people and appreciate my family but also the importance of speaking to others about ones health and taking action on it.”

At the age of only 54, Will Castle’s dad took his own life. To Will, his dad had always seemed indestructible and didn’t make his struggles known. “We all need to check in on those we care about, tell them you love them and make sure they are not alone. However bad things seem, suicide is never the answer and speaking about it could save their life.”

With a significant percentage (68 percent) of people celebrating Father’s Day by giving cards or buying gifts*, it can also be a challenging time for many.

Almost 2 in 5 (39 per cent) male deaths happen prematurely, before 75 years of age, equating to over 133,000 men across the UK who died too young, over 2.500 a week. This comes despite advancements in healthcare, with the UK is one of only two G7 countries where male life expectancy has decreased since 2012 New research commissioned by the men’s health charity also found that less than a third (29 per cent) speak about health and wellbeing with their fathers, despite the positive impact they have on people's lives, with their top ways to describe them being funny (33 per cent), understanding (34 per cent), and caring (30 per cent)*.

To dispel the culture of silence surrounding men's health and the need to have more open conversations about our health and support our fathers, Movember is sharing the stories in its latest campaign through earned media, paid media partnerships and social, with supporting influencers, to help change the face of men’s health.

Michelle Terry, CEO of Movember, said: “We’d like to thank all the families that contributed to the cards for their strength and courage in stepping forward and sharing their heartfelt stories. Because behind every poem and illustration is a tragic story of loss and despair that touches family, friends, and communities which is mirrored thousands of times over up and down the country. 

There has long been a misconception and stigma surrounding men’s health that has held people back from seeking help when it’s needed. And at a time when men’s health is taking a worrying dip against a backdrop of economic and social unrest, urgent collective action is needed to make men’s health a national priority, and for the next government to put this issue front and centre of their plans if we are to holt the unacceptable decline.”


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