Blue September

Charity Men's Health Forum wants to raise awareness of cancer in men with a series of blue-themed events

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard daubed with blue paint at the launch of Blue September
Liverpool's Steven Gerrard daubed with blue paint at the launch of Blue September
What is it?
Blue September is a male cancer awareness campaign. It began in Australia and New Zealand but this is the first year it has taken place in England and Wales.

Who is organising it?
The Men’s Health Forum charity is running it with a range of partners from the voluntary and public sectors, including NHS Direct. Celebrities, politicians and sportsmen are also endorsing it.

What is the aim?
Just as women’s charities have adopted pink as the colour for October’s breast cancer awareness month, this campaign will feature a series of blue-themed events throughout September to make men think about the various types of cancer. "Men are about 40 per cent more likely than women to die of cancer," says Peter Baker, chief executive of Men’s Health Forum.

What is involved?
Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, lifelong Reds, agreed to be filmed having their faces painted blue for yesterday’s campaign launch. A website has been created, showing other supporters, such as Paul Burstow, Minister for Care Services, with their faces painted blue.

How can people get involved?
Supporters can upload pictures of their blue faces on to the Blue September website, follow the campaign on Twitter, create their own events and make donations online.

Third Sector verdict:
An eye-catching campaign that should benefit from the explosion of popularity in breast cancer awareness events over the last 10 years.

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Voluntary and community events are increasingly popular, especially around this time of year.