I’ve only known one person pass over to cancer and it was the worst experience ever. It’s not just the death though, it’s all of the time before where the family support is needed both mentally, financially and being hands on. So dads, brothers, sons, nephews, grandads, uncles – Bowel Cancer UK, the UK’s leading bowel cancer research charity, needs you!

It’s that time of year again when the charity asks men across the UK to grow a beard throughout December raising awareness and money to support vital research and lifesaving work to stop bowel cancer.

The rules are simple, just clean shave on 30 November and let your facial hair flourish throughout the month of December in the run up to Christmas. Already bearded? No problem. Dye, ditch or decorate your beard and join the campaign.

Having lost one person in my life to bowel cancer I can relate to every bit of support that this charity needs. If it means not shaving and it helps one person, it’s my job done – Phill, Corporate Dad

More than 44 people die from bowel cancer every day in the UK, it’s the nation’s second biggest cancer killer.  However it shouldn’t be. It’s treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.

The campaign is being supported by Bowel Cancer UK Patron Ben Richards, who is currently starring in the west end musical The Bodyguard alongside Beverley Knight, and has had bowel cancer himself. Ben said: “Lads, winter’s cold so why don’t you do your face a favour and give it some warmth this December whilst raising money and awareness for a great cause.  Grow a beard for Decembeard and help Bowel Cancer UK at the same time.”

Chris Read, Captain for Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and former England cricketer, is also supporting Decembeard. He says: “My first cricket coach died from bowel cancer and as a consequence my awareness of this disease increased greatly. He was a wonderful man who, along with his family, became great friends and that’s why I became a patron of Bowel Cancer UK.  That’s also why I’m encouraging sons, dads, brothers, uncles, nephews and granddads to join together this Decembeard and show their support for the charity.”

ben-and-decembeard50-year-old Richard Lupton has taken part in Decembeard in previous years and knows how devastating bowel cancer can be.  “I was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer after experiencing a change in my bowel habit. A few weeks later I had major surgery followed by six months of chemotherapy, and was told that I had a 99 per cent chance of a secondary cancer. However that proved to be 100% wrong and now I’m a cancer survivor but there are many people who don’t have my good fortune.  So that is why I decided to take part in Decembeard and would thoroughly recommend it.

“Not only is it fun for a bloke to see what he can achieve in just 31 days, and you can raise some much needed money to boot, but you will be asked by dozens of people why you are growing a beard. You will then be able to highlight bowel cancer – which is all too often forgotten about.”

Sign up at bowelcanceruk.org.uk/decembeard