Toppling Taboos (And Winning) Online

'I wish I had breast cancer'.

As slogans go, it was risky. But in terms of raising awareness (of pancreatic cancer), it was absolute genius. Countless mainstream media covered it, and bloggers were devising responses as to whether they were for or against.

Pancreatic cancer, as an issue, was everywhere. I have searched the slogan on multiple occasions to, for want of a better word, admire the campaign afresh. 

But people like me (and Kate Leaver) are the minority. Others would rather ignore the issue.

The same can be said of the issue of mental health and more specifically male suicide in the UK. 

Did you know that 12 men take their lives each day in the UK? Male suicide accounts for 3 out of 4 suicides in this country and it kills more people globally each year than murder and war, yet people don't talk about it.

I will.

My cousin took his own life in 2011 and since then I've been working in both a professional consultative capacity and as a fundraiser for CALM, which exists to tackle the issue of male suicide and educate the public.

The more I talk about my experience, the more I uncover those with a similar story to tell, a sympathetic ear, or simply a desire to help. 

Last year, I launched All about the Cause - an initiative to do good using social media - and by coincidence the issue of male suicide was selected by the social media community and our panel of judges as our campaign cause.

To raise awareness, we initiated a Thunderclap - a 'crowdspeaking' platform that harnesses the power of social media - to send a message online. It was backed by David Baddiel, Rob da Bank and Frank Turner, among others.

Many of these talented people have gone a step further to help. Prizes have been donated from all quarters to a raffle on 26 April (THIS SATURDAY).

It's £2 to enter and you could win:

  • Two Sunday tickets to Nozstock festival (Roots Manuva, Calyx & Teebee, Eddy Temple Morris, Fun Lovin' Criminals all confirmed)
  • A half day's ride in a private chauffeured Bentley
  • A Bajan foodie feast cooked at the winner's home (as long as it's within the M25) by In A Pikkle
  • A bottle of whiskey signed by PM David Cameron
  • Limited edition vinyl and other goodies from awesome house DJ & producer Sonny Wharton
  • Signed rock n roll merch from Falling Red
  • Free cut & blow-dry at Karda Salon
  • Cocktail vouchers at ever-popular Little Nan's Bar
  • A batch of 9 of the most delicious brownies you'll ever taste in your life c/o Batch Bakery London.  

So please go ahead, enter! It's easy peasy - head to www.virginmoneygiving.com/jojofurnival, donate £2 or any multiple of £2 (depending on how many tickets you'd like to buy) and comment with your email address and the word 'RAFFLE'. I'll assign you the correct number of raffle tickets and you'll be emailed if you're a winner.

The raffle takes place on 26 April so don't delay! A huge thank you to the social community - as always, you've been superb :-)

Photo (cc) Howard Lake. Some rights reserved. 

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