Taking part in Sidetember, an awareness drive for Brain Injury Awareness month, are Medlab employees James Hurst, left, and Kendall Wills. Photo: Andrew Board.

Sidetember grows on Nelson


The latest facial hair awareness drive is growing on its Nelson participants.

James Hurst and Kendall Wills make up half of the participants from Nelson in Sidetember, a campaign for Brain Injury Awareness, during September. The idea is in its first year and was started in Sydney, to raise money are awareness for the Australian Brain Injury Foundation. It made its way to New Zealand via a friend of the founder, Brenda Lowen, who works at Medlab South at Nelson Hospital.

She was able to convince three of her workmates to take part, and along with other friends in Wellington and Auckland. The fourth Nelson participant is a barman at Bar Berlin.

James says he was happy to take part and is much nicer than having his head shaved and taking part in Movember, both of which he has done. “The biggest concern [about the sideburns] is how many greys are in them,” he jokes.

Kendall says it is for a good cause so was easily convinced but his wife wasn’t so keen saying ‘not in this lifetime’. “But I thought I’d better do it because Brenda wanted some support so that was that really. And Brenda says she is taking part next year by growing some with drugs similar to the Belarusian athletes,” he jokes.

Brenda says the intention is to link Sidetember with the Brain Injury Association in New Zealand next year and it would work well the current awareness month.