With the festive season now well and truly upon us, November will seem for many like a distant memory. But for the men (and women) of Peakon, the toils and tribulations of last month will be harder to forget – particularly as for some the evidence remains clear to see in the mirror each morning.
A fundamental part of being a Peakon is caring, not just for each other but for those beyond the reach of the office walls. It’s one of our seven company values.
So, last month, Peakons from across all five offices joined forces to raise money for leading men’s charity Movember, which is shaking up men’s health and striving to reduce the number of premature deaths.
We had lofty ambitions of raising €5,000 in four weeks and, for added pressure, Peakon promised to double the pot if that target was met.
But meet it we did, which means a whopping €10,534 is now winging its way over to Movember to help fathers, brothers, sons and friends everywhere battling various forms of cancer and mental health issues.
One epic month of Be More. Be Mo
Throughout a month of mo-related events, Peakons sacrificed blood, sweat and even their dashing good looks to drum up donations.
But before Movember could get underway in earnest, Peakon’s more follically endowed employees had to shave. Professional barbers were called in and, within minutes, dozens of hirsute chaps went from Gandalf to Gollum.
From this baby-faced starting point, the uncomfortable process of mo-growing could begin. Day by day, fresh facial hair came into bloom, be it silky, itchy, patchy, lopsided or twirly. Some of the women had a go too, and by the end of week one the donations started to pour in.
As the days rolled on, some of the more competitive ‘Mo Bros’ begun to shape their new whiskers into classic styles. Were some of the team even growing attached to their fuzzy top lips?
Let’s get physical
To woo more sponsors, Peakons also took on arduous physical challenges. James and Rowan cycled all the way from Moorgate to Margate, while Patch ran an impressive 60km over the course of the month. That’s one km for each of the 60 young men who die from suicide every 60 minutes.
Patch, whose every step was motivated by a desire to raise awareness around men’s mental health, also single-handedly raised €770 for the cause. “This year I wanted to push myself,” he said. “No one should have to suffer silently or think it’s not okay to feel down.”
By the final week we had smashed our target, but the story didn’t end there. Another Movember hero was yet to emerge in the form of Nick West – the once proud owner of an estimable Imperial beard which took five long years to establish.
Nick had previously been reluctant to part with his magnificent whiskers, but after tragically losing two people to cancer he generously agreed that, if we managed to meet our fundraising target, he would do exactly that.
So on the final day of November, and with an audience of applauding Peakons, Nick received an uncharacteristically close shave.
“Sure, my face might be the coldest it has ever been,” he said, “but what a fantastic cause and I couldn’t be prouder of the effort.”
It was an epic and sometimes emotional month, but with more than €10,000 banked for young men in need, all Peakons need worry about now is restoring their facial hair in time for Christmas.