Communities Against Cancer
Action Man Campaign
Action Man Campaign
As part of Action Hampshire’s Communities Against Cancer project, Wessex Cancer Trust (WCT) is delivering its Action Man Campaign.
WCT have used its Communities Against Cancer grant to raise awareness of cancer amongst men and encourage those with possible symptoms to come forward. Through its research into men’s experiences, WCT found that men are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer but also less likely to come forward and speak to their GP.
WCT identified that there may be many men out there who have possible cancer symptoms and have not got their symptoms checked out with the GP. This also means they could be delaying possible support and treatment. The Action Man campaign has sought to respond to this using the funding and support from the Communities Against Cancer project. The project has involved speaking out and raising awareness to men locally and though social media campaigns.
It has also enabled the launch of the specially designed Action Man website where men can find cancer information and support.
Through raising awareness and starting conversations, WCT is continuing to reach men across the south coast and engaging with them to think about their health and understand when something is not quite right. It is really important that if someone notices something unusual or a new symptom, they contact their GP to get it checked out. Most of the time it won’t be cancer but if it is, catching it early can make a real difference.
Action Man Ambassadors
The Action Man campaign also features local men as Action Man Ambassadors talking about their experiences of symptoms, early diagnosis and cancer. These men have bravely and passionately campaigned with the Action Man project, sharing their stories and trying to encourage others to talk and come forward with possible cancer symptoms. This is despite some of these Ambassadors undergoing cancer treatment themselves and some sadly near the end of life. These men are at the heart of the campaign and telling their stories in their own words has proved to be very powerful. Their stories and experiences can be both heart breaking and inspiring.
Philip Dinn is an Action Man ambassador and has voluntarily shared his cancer journey with others to raise awareness and try to encourage men to seek help early. Philip says…
“I was lucky. Fairly vague symptoms led me to see my GP and to have some blood tests that identified the rapid onset of a rare blood cancer. Without that initial visit to my GP my immune system would have failed and I wouldn’t be here today. Thanks to treatment, I’m back hill walking and sailing two years later. Different types of cancer can develop at any time in your life and anyone can get it. I urge you to be aware of any changes to your body and contact your GP if you think something might be wrong. Don’t leave it until it’s too late.”
“Do not stick your head in the sand about cancer!”
WCT has also reached out to celebrities to help raise awareness for the Action Man campaign. Watch former Casualty and Holby actor Clive Mantle speak about the importance of the WCT campaign and men talking about their health here
Although this Communities Against Cancer funding was awarded in 2019 WCT has experienced setbacks (due to the pandemic) with face to face events which were planned as part of the campaign. It is now hoped that some face to face events will be able to happen in the coming months. These will encourage local businesses, sports clubs and charities to be involved and come together to widen the reach of the Action Man campaign and reach more men with cancer awareness messages. WCT is also committed to continuing to raise awareness beyond 2021 and the original life of their grant. Sally Hillyear, WCT’s Head of Fundraising & Communications said “We also want men to help their mates and loved ones by making it ok to talk about things. The idea behind the campaign really is as simple as that, but it could make a huge difference”.
How to get involved:
- To learn more about the Action Man campaign and access the free resources, visit their website here
- To get in touch with the WCT team or find out how to get involved or to become an Action Man Ambassador please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- For more information about the Communities Against Cancer project or to apply for a grant to support a cancer awareness project, please visit the Action Hampshire webpage here