Two firefighters standing arm in arm and smiling
Firefighters and Mo BrosImage by: Movember
Two firefighters standing arm in arm and smiling
10 November 2020

How Movember is investing in new mental health initiatives across the globe

3 minutes read time

Last year, we announced we'd be investing £5.88M in bold, new and promising ideas that help men stay connected.

That investment is spread across three major funding opportunities:

  • The Veterans and First Responders Grant Program
  • The Social Connections Challenge
  • The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Social Connections Challenge

A few months (and several hundred applications) later, we’re at the pointy end of turning funding into real-life interventions.

But how exactly do these funding opportunities work?

We advertise the opportunities to the general community (e.g. researchers, community organisations and social entrepreneurs), and invite them to pitch an idea or submit an application.

When the advertising periods close, submissions go through a peer-review process with an external panel of subject matter experts from each participating country.

The panel identifies the project teams with the most promising ideas.

Through the Movember funding model, we give these teams 'seed' funding. Seed funding is an initial grant to enable project teams to develop their idea, or to pilot their program.

This approach helps us to road test the ideas and build an evidence base for what works. The projects that continue to show potential are given extra funding or begin co-development with Movember.

It’s a massive undertaking that takes months to complete. None of which would be possible without the support of our dedicated Movember community.

For the finer details on each of these funding opportunities, please read on.

The Veterans and First Responders Grant Program

The Veterans & First Responders Grants Program aims to address the needs of first responders and military veterans who experience higher rates of mental ill-health and suicide compared with the rest of the population.

In partnership with The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, we're investing £3.38M over two years to support First Responder projects in New Zealand, Ireland, Germany, the UK and the US, as well as Veteran and First Responder Initiatives in Australia and Canada.

A minimum of eight programs that show promise in improving the mental health of men in these groups and build the evidence for effective interventions will be supported through this initiative. Full details can be found here.

The Social Connections Challenge

The Social Connections Challenge is an opportunity to capitalize on the amazing ways that people have used technology to stay connected during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

For this challenge, we’re investing £1.86M in digital or technology-focused ideas that maintain or strengthen social connections and tackle isolation among at-risk groups of men. Men who are at greater risk of social isolation because of where they live, their socio-economic status or cultural background.

In 2020, we announced the 72 ideas that made the shortlist. From those, between 7–16 projects from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the UK will be selected for co-development with Movember.

The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride Social Connections Challenge

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Social Connections Challenge is seeking new ideas to strengthen connections between motorcycle riders.

Riding can be inherently isolating so we’re looking for concepts that will bring men together through a shared love of the pastime. In particular, we’re focusing on middle-aged men who are dealing with key life challenges as well as young riders in need of mentorship.

Using funds raised by The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride community, this £646,000 opportunity is available across Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and the US.

In 2020, we provided 18 project teams with funding to pitch and develop their idea. Up to 10 of those projects will be selected to be trialed with the relevant motorcycling communities.