Members of the Whanganui police force will be seen with more facial hair this month, but it is not because they are slacking off on their shaving routines.
They have signed up to participate in the Movember Grow a Mo campaign, which aims to raise funds and awareness for men's health.
Constable Caleb Watt has recruited 20 colleagues from all Whanganui police work groups to join him in the quest to grow an impressive piece of lip foliage by the end of the month and raise at least $1500 for the Movember charity.
"Some of us already had beards and moustaches but we shaved them off so we could start the month clean-shaven," Watt said.
"We aim to raise a minimum of $1500 and local businesses have said they will support us."
Others wishing to support the cause can make a donation at nz.movember.com
Watt said he was happy to lead the initiative to support men's health because the funds raised would support mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
Movember was conceived by Australian friends Travis Garone and Luke Slattery over a quiet beer in 2003 and they went on to challenge a bunch of mates to grow moustaches and contribute $10 each to support prostate cancer research and treatment.
The concept was formalised the following year with company registration and the launch of a website that has spread the message around the world. The campaign was launched in New Zealand in partnership with The Prostate Cancer Foundation of NZ in 2006.
As more and more moustaches are grown each year, the range of Movember's support for men's health has also grown and while the charity continues to fund research and treatment for prostate and testicular cancer, it also provides funding for a range of wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention initiatives.
The campaign has also introduced new ways to participate and there are now options to Grow a Mo, Move for Movember by taking part in a walk or run, Host a Mo-ment by rallying a crew for a fun challenge or Mo Your Own Way with a wild card idea of your own.
• Find out more at nz.movember.com