#Decembeard: The Charity and Why It’s Needed
Bowel Cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death in the world, affecting both men and women. Every year just over 40,000 people get diagnosed with bowel cancer and more than 16,000 people die of the disease.
Craig Jones is a web and applications developer from Birmingham, UK. He is not funded nor does he take any profit from the BeardsForBowels.com project. That means that he juggles a full-time job and family life around the #Decembeard fund-raising.
“Campaigning during the month of November is known as ‘Movember‘ where men grow mustaches to raise awareness of prostate cancer; ‘Tashes for Testicles‘ as we call it. ‘Beards for Bowels’ came from our aim to raise awareness of bowel cancer by growing beards all year round but mainly campaigning each December… ‘Decembeard‘ if you will.” – Craig Jones
“Decembeard was first mentioned on the radio by Chris Evans a few years ago shortly after Movember,” Jones explains. “Back then, I set up our social media profile but the campaign was only driven during December, therefore I created Beards for Bowels, with my friend, Matthew, so we could help raise support and awareness all year round.”
Jones relates, “We blog all beard, charity and cancer awareness related information on our website and have a free iPhone app which allows the follicle-challenged to take a picture and place a beard on their selfie and post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to help them get involved and spread the word and donate.”
9 Questions With Decembeard Founder Craig Jones
What’s your favorite cocktail?
Well, I’m known for my love of the classic ‘Sex on the Beach‘ (Love in the Sun?) and my latest new taste is ‘Midori Illusion‘. However, I’ll try anything once (and again if I like it) especially if it has a sparkler or an umbrella poking out of it.
What bar do you most like to visit, either at home or when you travel?
My hometown is Birmingham UK and, when time allows, I socialize in my local pub. My favorite place has to be Ice Bar London and tend to look out for any similar bars like on my recent travels to the Ice Hotel Sweden and Minus5 in Las Vegas.
What’s your day job?
By day, I head up a digital team for a West Midlands based creative agency and still like to keep my fingers well and truly into any type of web/application based coding. By night, I run the Beards for Bowels and Decembeard fund-raising campaigns.
What is the longest you’ve ever gone without shaving?
Practicing what I preach; I’ve been a full year (a #ByearD I like to call it) to stand by my Beards for Bowels activities. I loved having a beard but recently got asked to be clean-shaven for an event therefore I’ve started from ‘scratch’ on the 1st of December to promote this years Decembeard campaign.
When did you start Decembeard.co?
I had heard of the word ‘Decembeard’ which made me smile back in 2010 when an US-based charity started to grow beards to raise awareness of sex trafficking. However it was a BBC radio DJ called Chris Evans who really sparked the UK in 2011 as he had missed Movember and announced he was going to grow a beard during December instead.
What sparked the concept?
After hearing that Chris Evans was growing a beard in aid of bowel cancer, Decembeard started to become an annual event for both fund-raisers and charities. We all seem to have our own way of promoting the campaign which is great as it helps raise support and awareness of the third most common cancer killer in the world.
I didn’t just want to campaign once a year so I set up BeardsForBowels.com so I could continue my venture throughout the rest of the months
Who would you most want to have a drink with?
I have a soft spot for Sandra Bullock, who famously drinks Gibson cocktails in The Net. However, as a huge Superman geek, I wouldn’t mind a beverage with Henry Cavill, who rocks the occasional manscaped look.
How can people help the cause?
Beards for Bowels and Decembeard is in the early stages of becoming a worldwide event. I’m very active on the usual social media sites and I’m not only encouraging men to grow beards but I have a free iPhone app that allows anyone to take a selfie, beard themselves and post to their followers. This helps raise awareness of the cause by getting everyone involved.
Hash tagging #Decembeard or giving @Decembeard a mention will allow me to see how far this trend goes.
If there was a charity centered around growing “Man Buns“, who would you think should benefit?
Oh yes, let’s not forget man buns. Manscaped beards, ink and a sharp-looking haircut is the UK’s craze at the moment however I have seen the style slip into the rugged face fuzz, curly hair and top-knot along the way. If a charity could come up with an idea to promote this look, I’d be behind it all the way!
Midori Illusion Tiki Cocktail Recipe
30ml London Dry Gin
30ml Pineapple Juice
15ml Lemon Juice
15 ml Lime Juice
Combine ingredients in shaker. Add ice and hard shake. Strain over crushed ice in a Hurricane glass or Tiki Mug. Garnish with a chunk of fresh pineapple and a mint sprig.