Here we grow! Movember begins

FACTORY workers growing weird and wonderful facial hair for Movember are starting with a clean slate thanks to a local barber.

The month-long Movember initiative, which sees men growing beards and moustaches to highlight men’s health issues – specifically prostate cancer – started on November 1, and about 100 employees from Johnson Matthey are taking part under the team name Johnson MOtthey.

Barber Tony Perretta, from The Barber Shop in Melbourn, visited the Orchard Road factory last week, offering free wet shaves to any participants requiring one.

One of his first victims was Graham Avery.

He said: “I’ve had a beard for 33 years, apart from a couple of years in the late 1980s, so it will be a bit of a shock for my wife as she hasn’t seen me without a beard since July 1979 when we were still at school together. I first grew it between the lower and upper sixth!

“A friend of mine is currently receiving treatment for prostate cancer so I’d like to do my bit for Movember.”

Deb McGarrity, Johnson Matthey’s Royston site co-ordinator, said: “We are very proud that so many of our employees have eagerly volunteered to take part in this event. It is important to highlight and support these illnesses.

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“As well as donating funds to the cause, we feel if by making the event fun then potentially serious symptoms can easily be brought to the attention of more men. Hopefully they will then visit the doctor earlier and in turn more lives can be saved.”

You can sponsor the team by logging on to johnsonmatthey

Chris Lee, of Mill Road, Royston, is also cultivating a moustache this month.

He said: “Men rarely talk about their personal health, even with friends – it’s a taboo subject. But a moustache is highly visible so it’s a conversation starter.

“This time last year a friend was treated for prostate cancer and I recently had a scare. That brings the issues very close to home – it made me want to raise awareness as well as money.”

Mr Lee’s website is

• Are you taking part in Movember? Send us a picture to news@ or tweet @roystoncrow