As a sales manager at PayProp UK, Robert Flood is an important ambassador for the brand. Outside work, he’s also a Community Ambassador for Movember UK, using those same people skills to help a cause close to his heart. Below he tells us all about his long involvement with this leading men’s health charity, and explains how all you need to do to make a difference is to take that first step.
What did you do for ‘your’ charity?
I have taken part in Movember for the last 12 years. It all started when I grew a moustache with a friend to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues. Back then, Movember was mainly focused on testicular cancer but it now covers three main areas: testicular cancer, prostate cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention.
For the last three years I have also been a local community ambassador for the charity. I organise online and offline fundraising events, raise awareness through blogs and other media, and talk to men’s groups about my story and experiences.
I have also taken part in various individual challenges to raise funds directly, including swimming the length of Windermere (10.5 miles), walking 250km in a month and cycling from Manchester to Blackpool (60 miles).
Why did you choose this charity?
For most of my adult life I have suffered from bouts of anxiety and depression. Mostly I suffered in silence, only telling very close friends and family about my hidden illness. Covering up how I was really feeling only made me feel worse when I was alone.
When I became an ambassador for Movember I decided that I was going to be more open. I hoped that this would help other men to talk about their own problems. This has not only helped me a great deal when I’m feeling down, but also show other men that it is OK to feel low and reach out for help.
Over the last year, during these testing times of social isolation with limited physical connections, it has become even more apparent just how important opening up and speaking to people is to retain a sense of mental balance. It has helped me understand that what I do makes a difference.
What did you gain?
I now have the confidence to speak openly about my illness in order to help others through theirs. I’m able to tell people when I am not feeling well and, although I continue to find this difficult at times, I know how much it has helped me. Even if I only help one other person to talk about their own issues or concerns, it’s all worthwhile.
Any advice for others wanting to get involved with a charity?
Don’t be afraid to take that first step, you will find it such a worthwhile experience. Try to do something you enjoy. For me, setting myself new exercise challenges has given me focus and helped me to come through my lowest times knowing that there are better times ahead.
Whatever you do, no matter how big or small, know that it makes a difference to someone.
Don’t forget to check out Robert’s fundraising project on GivenGain.
Feeling inspired? Take that first step today by creating your fundraiser account on GivenGain! We’ve put together a list of fundraising ideas that you can do without even leaving the house, so it’s really easy to start making a difference.