International Men’s Day 2022

Male WWA staff pictured at a beach clean

International Men’s Day 2022

Saturday 19th November 2022, is International Men’s Day. One of the key tenets of International Men’s Day is the focus on men’s health and well-being, and WWA’s David Ashford – People and Culture Lead, shares his experiences around men’s health and highlights the importance of raising awareness of men’s health issues and providing a safe space for men to discuss their health concerns.

“At WWA, we have decided to focus this year’s International Men’s Day (19th November) on men’s health.

In the UK, 56,000 men are diagnosed with male-related cancers each year and sadly 13,000 men die. Testicular cancer is generally a young man’s disease (18 to 25-year-olds) so it is not something that young men should ignore or think only relates to older men; whereas prostate cancer tends to affect men over the age of 50. As a company of slightly less than 70% men, we have plenty of employees who fall into both age groups… Also, in the Construction industry, two men commit suicide every day – these are important statistics that we must take seriously and do all that we can to support charities that are actively looking to reduce those numbers.

At 24, I had my own cancer scare – I was in a lot of pain and went to A&E to get checked. It really hit home once I was ‘gowned up’ and immediately wheeled to a men’s surgical ward – I thought they were going to start cutting bits of me off without even doing any investigation! It turns out, the men’s surgical ward was just more private with more individual rooms…. After a whole range of examinations (you get used to getting naked in front of doctors), tests and ultrasounds over a few weeks: I was given the all-clear.
20 years later this is still a strong memory, and I am keen to support any charity that works with men’s health – I am also getting closer to the age bracket for prostate cancer so I am being proactive about learning what to look out for!!

I hope that talking about my own experience, helps others in the company to talk about themselves, and/or seek advice. Getting men talking is so important and I know that I have a key role in letting others know that it is ok to share or ask for help.

A number of us have signed up to Movember and we are running a WWA Mo Bros Team – I am determined that we will be able to donate a significant amount of money to specific men’s health charities. I am now halfway through growing the required moustache and am suffering my colleagues’ teasing. If you’d like to donate to our Movember efforts then please click on this link:

Happy International Men’s Day!”

David Ashford, People and Culture Lead at WWA

The WWA Movember team raised an incredible £755 during November for the challenge – this amount will be matched by WWA.