Newsletter No. 6

Dec 2015

Welcome to our final newsletter for 2015. The first half of this year was dominated by our Big Lottery brief, National Men's Health Conference and commitments to men's health in the workplace which I reviewed in Newsletter No 5 in September. This left two major events at Ipswich Town Football Club and Clacton to come in October and November. At ITFC 138 men attended for AAA screening, cardiovascular checks, physiotherapy and diabetes, skin cancer and prostate cancer screening. We even had a team from the Medical Detection Dogs collecting urine samples from men having prostate checks to train their dogs to recognise prostate cancer! So far we know 11/94 prostate checks were abnormal and 1 man with an unknown aneurysm underwent potentially life-saving surgery within 2 weeks of the event. Another "first" on the day was a successful seminar "Mental Health in The Workplace" run by Suffolk User Forum, Suffolk Mind and Picasso HR. At our last event in Clacton on 12.11.15 an exceptionally high attendance stretched our capacity to the limit, but thoroughly endorsed our raison d'être. For instance, 21 heart checks were abnormal and 8 skin cancers were diagnosed! These results typify our activity; overall in 2015 we have performed a total of 1,944 clinical tests for 814 men at 8 major events. Our strategy for 2016 is to concentrate our activity in Essex and Suffolk on the principle that "charity begins at home". Recognising that on our own doorstep there are considerable unmet and indeed unrecognised health needs, our objective now is to work with local clubs and organisations, especially - but not exclusively - those that are more male orientated. Sadly we all have friends who have succumbed too early to preventable or curable diseases and through local support at local events, we believe we can make a difference. We have done so successfully this year already with both Masons and Lions and previously with Rotary and Probus. We are now able to stage clinical testing, particularly for common problems such as heart disease, diabetes, skin cancer and prostate cancer, at both small scale and large scale events which can be self-funded by the organisations themselves. If you would like to know more, please contact me at CHAPS needs to ensure its financial stability through grants, sponsorship and fundraising events. To this end we are inviting small donations of £100 from companies to display their logo on our supporters "wall" on our website and printed material. We are also planning our first 2016 fundraiser on 30th March at Colchester United stadium to follow our Men's Health Day. Our provisional plan is to run a "Race Night". Our final thanks for 2015 must therefore go to our major donors, Big Lottery, NEEB Holdings, The Essex Installed Mark Master Masons, the Suffolk Nuffield Hospital, East of England Co-op, Ramsay Healthcare, KeyMed Ltd and to all the clubs and individuals for their smaller donations which have been essential to sustaining an extremely hectic and successful year. Thank you so much again and a very Happy Christmas. Chris Booth