Laura Mair, 25, is corporate and community engagement manager for men’s health charity Movember. She lives in Islington, north London, with two flatmates
"I get up as soon as my alarm goes off at 7am. I never sleep in later than that because I like to be at work before 8.30am to beat the morning rush. By the time I get to work, things will be non-stop, so I catch a rare moment of quiet at home with a slice of toast and a coffee before walking for 40 minutes to the Movember offices in Farringdon.
Movember is a campaign where we ask men to grow a moustache during November to raise awareness of prostate and testicular cancer. We’re ‘live’ for just one month, but our team of 15 work year-round on the campaign, drumming up support from the general public and high profile ambassadors such as premiership rugby teams, corporate businesses and celebrities such as Stephen Fry and Mo Farah.
The first thing I do when I get in, is catch up on all my emails and look over all meetings scheduled for the day. Then I’ll draw up an ‘action list’ to help me focus. I’m responsible for engaging with what we call “Mo Bros” and “Mo Sistas” – men and women all around the world who have registered on the website and are supporting the campaign by growing a moustache (not the women, of course) or fundraising. I am essentially the ‘face’ of Movember and this involves travelling round the country a lot and championing the cause.
I don’t actually spend much time at my desk. Most days I’m out and about visiting the Movember community. We call it ‘going on tour’ and I can travel anywhere from Cornwall to Aberdeen, sharing the Movember story: how we started out, and where their money will be ending up. We have two health partners in the UK – Prostate Cancer UK and The Institute of Cancer Research and all the money raised goes to them. Last year the total was over £22million. On tour I can do anything from presenting to 100 people from a big company like Barclays and Deloitte, to speaking to the coach of a rugby team to work out how we’re going to get his squad to grow moustaches ahead of a big fixture.
picture credit: Gemma Day, Getty Images
I do work with a lot of men – most people in the Movember office have moustaches (women are outnumbered two to one) and I find that they need a woman’s opinion a lot of the time. But our charity is actually targeted at both sexes. Yes, we’re asking men to grow facial hair but the support of women is absolutely crucial. Every woman has a man in her life who can be affected by prostate or testicular cancer, whether that’s her father, husband, brother or uncle. Women are better at talking about their health than men, so it’s important to have their support in the campaign.
I’ll be out and about during the afternoon too, meeting corporate partners, speaking to big companies and seeing how we can assist them with their fundraising for this year’s campaign, whether that’s by planning events, organising the logistics of putting a team together or giving general motivation and advice.
If all goes well I’ll finish at about 6pm when I’ll either head to an evening event run by one of our partners (like gigs or corporate parties), or I’ll go home to cook with my housemates and have a catch-up. I try to make sure I eat something healthy like Thai green curry or a stir fry when I’m at home, although quite often the hard work is undone with a couple of glasses of wine.
My job covers the global communities team so I work throughout the evening. I’m quite often in bed at 10.30pm on the phone to Australia. I like to take a couple of hours afterwards to read, relax and enjoy being on my own, so I normally drift off to sleep at about 12.30am."