World Continence Week (WCW) takes place this week (19-23 June 2023). WCW is an annual initiative devised and managed by World Federation of Incontinence and Pelvic Problems (WFIPP).
WCW is a global initiative intended to raise awareness of bladder & bowel issues, chronic pelvic pain and other debilitating conditions which impact greatly on the lives of patients and carers. The main theme for 2023 is Commitment to Collaboration.
At phs, collaboration has been our focus from the beginning. We understood that as a business with 120,000 customers across 300,000 locations, we could make a real and tangible impact to the lives of those living with male incontinence. We wanted to do the right thing and work closely with those experiencing male incontinence.
This is why we decided to partner with Prostate Cancer UK and shine a light on the men experiencing urinary incontinence because of life-saving prostate cancer treatment. We worked closely with the charity to draft our research paper, interviewed tens of men to design our campaign, to truly understand the impact incontinence has on them day to day. They shared their stories with grace and humour, and a desire to break down taboos.
For WCW, the objective is to raise global awareness of such conditions and help remove stigmas and taboos via events, publications, and media attention. The success of a global awareness-raising campaign really depends on a massive collaborative effort, and we will be using the WCW toolkit to raise further awareness of male incontinence and the struggles men face.
Similarly to Prostate Cancer UK and The Urology Foundation, we are calling for better access to bins for men in public washrooms, and to reverse the trend of closing public toilets across the UK - a very necessary facility for anyone experiencing male incontinence.
If you want to join us and support our campaign to allow men to Dispose with Dignity, you can email your MP with our pre-drafted form. The process takes just a few minutes and could make all the difference. Get in touch with your MP here.
Steve Baughan, 51, from Gillingham in Kent was diagnosed with prostate cancer when he was 51. Although he is mostly recovered now, the experience of becoming incontinent was a difficult one, and now regularly discusses the issues he faced to help others on their journey. He said:
“I really believe it’s up to businesses and organisations to step up. If I had known that a particular place had facilities for me to dispose of my incontinence pads, I would have gone there, and the incontinence wouldn’t have stopped me. Perhaps I wouldn’t have isolated myself as much or stopped going out due to the stigma I felt. Knowing you were being looked after by a business would make a massive difference. It would be great for local businesses to listen to someone who has had prostate cancer and is currently dealing with incontinence. It’s no different to having a baby changing facility or bins for period products.”
You can also use the might of your own organisation to pressure for change and tackle the stigma and taboo around male incontinence, by sharing WCW resources on your social channels. Access all you need to make some noise on the WCW website. You can also make changes happen immediately by installing male incontinence bins in your business, and getting in touch with our team.
By committing to collaboration, we can all help men live well.