Alexandra Fire Brigade and is one of many CFA brigades facing up to a challenging month, with members taking part in a variety of fundraising and awareness tasks for the annual Movember campaign for men’s health.
Volunteers from the brigade will enter November with a clean face, after shaving at the end of October to start this year’s campaign anew.
Alexandra Fire Brigade secretary Brenton Doyle-Smith said this will be the second time the brigade has signed up as a team.
“I’d been doing it for a few years with the support of the brigade, so it was great when a few others in the brigade put their hands up and said they’d get amongst it as well,” Brenton said.
“My father was struck with prostate cancer a couple of years ago and thankfully he’s recovered but I really see this as a way that myself and the brigade can just give a little bit more to the community.
“I’ve never really been able to grow a good moustache but it’s always been a good conversation starter.”
While the hairy facial feature is front and centre for Alexandra Brigade, Movember includes a variety of ways to get involved with some people taking on challenges such as running or walking targets, and others organising events to fundraise and start conversations.
“We’re encouraging others in our brigade and in the community who may not necessarily want to grow a moustache to still be a part of it and get people involved,” Brenton said.
“This is about raising awareness, speaking up when something’s not right, and just making sure you go and get yourself checked out mentally, physically, and emotionally.
“It’s very important for those in emergency services as well, whether they’re paid, volunteer, or otherwise, to be able to speak up and make sure they’re OK.
“Our brigade does a variety of fundraising efforts throughout the year such as Movember, the Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb, and Good Friday Appeal, but we can really only be so proactive because we have such a strong and supportive community around us.”
CFA brigades from Pakenham, Horsham, Ballarat and Mount Martha are among some of the Movember teams that have already signed up, while many other CFA volunteers are taking part as individuals.
Registrations can be made at movember.com with participants to raise funds and awareness throughout this month.