Movember: What you need to know

The arrival of November means several things.

Halloween is done, so you probably have a wealth of candy to munch through, and Christmas is fast approaching so everything starts to bear a festive ring.

November also means Movember – the time of year when the world discusses men’s mental and physical health, reminding all men of the importance of early detection and increased awareness of good health and wellbeing.

Originally, the campaign urged men to grow a moustache – often to questionable results – in a bid to raise awareness of testicular and prostate cancer.

Since setting up in 2003 though, the Movember Foundation has widened its focus and these days leads with the fact that too many men are dying too young.

As well as testicular and prostate cancer, it also highlights mental health and suicide prevention, and by 2030, the group hopes to cut the number of men dying prematurely by a quarter.

Fuel Card Services values the health and wellbeing of its workforce, so naturally, Movember is a time when we are keen to push these positive messages.

Considering how important early detection can be in tackling these three core health concerns, Fuel Card Services has outlined a number of facts and early detection hints.

Prostate cancer

What is it?

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men, occurring in the prostate – a small walnut-shaped gland in men that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.

Some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need little to no treatment, whilst other types can be aggressive and spread quickly.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Usually, early-stage prostate cancer is difficult to detect. Early on, the most effective way of detecting it is usually through a PSA test or screening.

However, later-stage symptoms and signs may include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Weak or interrupted urine flow or the need to strain to empty the bladder
  • The urge to urinate frequently at night
  • Blood in the urine or seminal fluid
  • New onset of erectile dysfunction
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Discomfort or pain when sitting, caused by an enlarged prostate

How common is prostate cancer?

Roughly one in eight men in the UK will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives, according to Prostate Cancer UK.

Testicular cancer

What is it?

Cancer of the testicle is one of the less common cancers, usually affecting men aged between 15 and 49 years.

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • A lump in one testis which may or may not be painful
  • Sharp pain or a dull ache in the lower abdomen or scrotum
  • A feeling often described as ‘heaviness’ in the scrotum
  • Breast enlargement from hormonal effects
  • Lower back pain due to the cancer spreading to the lymph nodes along the back

If testicular cancer spreads to other organs, these symptoms might occur:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood from metastatic spread to the lungs
  • A lump in the neck due to metastases to the lymph nodes

How common is testicular cancer?

Around 2,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with testicular cancer every year.

Over a lifetime, the risk of developing testicular cancer is roughly one in 200, making it the 16th most common cancer amongst men.

Fortunately, it is highly treatable and usually curable, either through surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation.

Even in cases in which cancer has spread widely, chemotherapy offers a cure rate greater than 80 per cent.

Mental health and suicide prevention

Background

In the UK, three in four suicides are by men, making suicide the biggest cause of death for British men under 35.

Untreated mental health conditions can carry a high risk of suicide amongst men. The distress experienced at these troubled times can distort thinking, making it harder to see possible solutions to problems or to connect with those who can offer support.

Causes of suicide

  • Ongoing stressful situations, such as unemployment, relationship difficulties or health issues
  • Previous family or personal history of mental illness
  • Harmful drug and alcohol use
  • Isolation or loneliness

What can you do?

Whether you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one, these helplines and support groups can offer expert advice.

CALM

The Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.
Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)
Website: www.thecalmzone.net

Mind

Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.
Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 6pm)
Website: www.mind.org.uk

Samaritans

Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
Website: www.samaritans.org.uk

YoungMinds

Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.
Phone: Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Mon to Fri, 9.30am to 4pm)
Website: www.youngminds.org.uk

Fuel Card Services believes in looking after its employees, which includes a good work-life balance – find out more about a career with us at www.career4you.co.uk

Photo: Shutterstock

FUEL CARD SERVICES RETAINS HIGH RATING FOR QUALITY, ENVIRONMENT, AND ENERGY

Fuel Card Services, the UK’s leading provider of cost-effective solutions for making fleet management easier, is proud to announce yet another successful external audit.

The company has once again maintained three key certifications: ISO9001:2015 Quality, ISO14001:2015 Environmental, and ISO50001:2011 Energy.

The auditors were “extremely impressed” with the company, the Information Management System (IMS), and the active contribution made by all staff.

A winning team

Fuel Card Services’ Managing Director, Denise Frost, congratulated the IMS team saying, “We would like to say thank you to all of those who were ready and willing to participate in the audit, including Management Systems Co-ordinator Jennifer Mason.”

Denise added that “A special mention needs to go to Ammar Tahir who joined the company in April and has worked incredibly hard to learn the Management System and all of its associated tasks, whilst ensuring all of the documentation was up to date for the audit.”

Committed to quality

Although Fuel Card Services secures its ISOs every year, Denise was quick to confirm the company’s success is down to staying committed to quality – not just in IMS but across all departments.

“The reason we achieved certification was due to the hard work and assistance of personnel all year round,” Denise said. “By holding these certifications, it tells our customers we are committed to their satisfaction as much as to our environmental responsibilities.”

Going the extra mile

Fuel Card Services also helps fleet managers stay up-to-date with essential news through their Fleet Matters publication, enables fleets to become more sustainable with The Green Journey website and news updates, and is a proud supporter of the Cool Earth initiative.

Denise Frost, M.D. Fuel Card Services

Fuel Card Services believes in looking after its employees, which includes a good work life balance, find out more about a career with us at www.career4you.co.uk

Photo: praetorianphoto/iStock

Stressed CEOs are compromising their health and wellbeing over work pressures

If you’ve ever felt pressured or overloaded at work, spare a thought for the company boss.

Honestly, the head of your organisation may seem like they have everything under control, handing out tasks and barking orders seemingly at will. However, not far beneath that cool, authoritative exterior is possibly a highly stressed person.

This isn’t some random observation but one of the headline findings from a new survey of chief executives and small business owners.

Almost half (44 per cent) of the 352 UK company bosses questioned by business mentors Vistage admitted they have felt forced to compromise their health and wellbeing as a result of pressure at work.

Thankfully, a good portion of these stressed CEOs are doing something about it, with a quarter (24 per cent) of leaders seeking outside support to help cope with work-related stress.

Meanwhile, just over one in ten (12 per cent) said they would ‘always prioritise their health and wellbeing over their work’.

Fine line between committed and being a martyr

This survey is far from the first time concerns have been raised over the increased pressures facing senior employees and the knock-on for their wellbeing.

Research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) earlier this year suggested that managers were facing a mental health crisis, with one in ten taking time off work for mental health issues in the past year, for an average of 12 days.

Geoff Lawrence, general manager at Vistage, admitted that business leaders should expect a certain amount of added pressure, but there was a limit.

“Being a boss can mean having to put your body on the line from time to time,” he said, “but there’s a fine line between making sacrifices and becoming a martyr to the cause.”

Mr Lawrence went on to confess that striking the right balance can be tricky for business leaders, especially if they have built their organisation from the ground up.

“They want to do everything, be everywhere, and be involved in every decision, but almost inevitably that type of approach ends in a crash. There’s no shame in sharing the load,” he added.

Middle managers squeezed

Back in May, the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) sympathised with managers, who were expected to establish company culture whilst being under huge pressure.

Chris O’Sullivan, head of workplace mental health at the MHF said: “For too long, there has been a culture of driving middle managers hard to achieve results without giving them the time to manage their people, a culture of promoting the best salesperson or project manager into management without thinking about their people skills, and the culture among some leaders of putting themselves last.

“This has to end if we want to see mentally healthy workplaces.”

Fuel Card Services believes in looking after its employees, which includes a good work life balance – find out more about a career with us at www.career4you.co.uk

Photo: praetorianphoto/iStock

 

 

Photo: DisobeyArt/iStock

Revealed: the top five cities for a healthy work-life balance

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside and when it comes to striking a healthy work-life balance, it seems that living on the coast certainly helps after Brighton was named Britain’s best city for employee work-life balance perks.

Business travel experts Red7 conducted the research by looking at online job adverts for five top career roles in ten UK locations and recorded how often certain perks appeared.

They analysed at least 50 job adverts with the results being used to paint a picture of which cities offered the most perks and benefits.

With the south-coast city sitting pretty on the top of the pile, Bristol ranked second, offering the highest number of commuting benefits, as well as benefits in relation to bonuses and investments. After that, it was Leeds and London, with Belfast completing the top five.

Edinburgh led the way in terms of health benefits, with more than a fifth (21.2 per cent) of all of the city’s benefits fitting into this category.

Any jobseekers who want to have a laugh whilst they labour should look to York, which offered the largest percentage of fun and games benefits (10 per cent).

Meanwhile, Oxford is the place for foodies, with the city reporting the largest percentage of food and drink benefits (five per cent).

However, employers in list-leading Brighton offer more perks associated with work-life balance than other UK locations.

The East Sussex city topped the table in terms of overall benefits offered, at 2.5 perks per job advert, closely followed by Bristol at 1.6 perks per job role, and Cardiff, at 1.5.

Work-life balance perks in Brighton, which included flexi hours and a free holiday day for birthdays, made up 6.5 per cent of all benefits offered by employers in the city.

Ian Lucas, founder of Red7 – which published the research – said: “Although people should find satisfaction in their jobs, a good work-life balance is very important. This hot topic appears to be gaining more recognition as time goes on.”

Fuel Card Services believes in looking after its employees, which includes a good work life balance, find out more about a career with us at www.career4you.co.uk

Photo: BrianAJackson/iStock

Majority of employers believe they are helping staff achieve a healthy work-life balance

Close to three-quarters of employers including Fuel card Services believe they have been successful in improving the health and wellbeing of their workforce.

That’s according to a study carried out by Employee Benefits with Health Shield healthcare in August.

The research, which reflected the views of 162 respondents, found that providing a duty of care ranked highly in terms of success (61 per cent). Being seen as a caring employer followed as a close second (60 per cent) after dropping 14 per cent from 2017’s score.

One curious finding was that ‘getting employees back to work as soon as possible’ was not as successful as in the previous year, with the number of respondents claiming to have achieved this dropping from 53 per cent to 43 per cent.

Four in five respondents believe they have a duty of care to help employees hit a healthy work-life balance.

At 80 per cent, this marks a drop of four percentage points on last year, but it remains the number one obligation cited by employers for the past 13 years.

Helping employees reduce stress was another high-ranking obligation (75 per cent), followed by visiting healthcare professionals in a timely manner (67 per cent) and taking the full holiday entitlement (66 per cent).

Mental health focus

Elsewhere in the report, other key findings centred around mental health, with more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of companies providing support and counselling services to employees.

With almost half of respondents revealing that mental health issues are a major cause of sickness absence across their organisation, it’s understandable why employers would want to address this increasingly prolific issue.

As such, close to two-thirds (63 per cent) have strategies in place to support the mental wellbeing of their staff, while 57 per cent believe that helping employees build mental health resilience is a key duty of care.

All this effort seems to be paying off too, with 70 per cent believing their healthcare benefits have been successful in improving staff health and wellbeing.

Read the full Employee Benefits study here.


At Fuel card Services, our people are the heart of our business and we are constantly striving for excellence. 

Our consultative and knowledgeable approach to everything we do sets us apart and we are always looking for new people to join our ever-expanding business. 

Over the past few years we’ve seen some amazing growth, from a new office in Halifax, to a new office in a new country, Germany. 

For us standing still is not an option. Looking for progression? 

With offices in Bellshill, Whitstable, Wantage, Leeds, Burnley, Halifax & Essen, Germany.

We’ve got you covered! 

Just ask our Managing Director Denise and she’ll tell you that the opportunities are there for the taking

Join us today and fuel your career with FCS Europe.

Click here to see current positions available.

#WeAreFCS, are you ?

 

Photo: BrianAJackson/iStock