Timeline of the ambassador programme
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY AMBASSADOR PROGRAMME
The University Ambassador Programme started in 2018 with just 5 University Ambassadors at different universities in the UK. In Year Two of the University Ambassador Programme, we grew to 11, and at the beginning of Year Three we progressed to 16 University Ambassadors, with 3 set up in Belfast, Cork, and Dublin.
A typical University Ambassador ‘cycle’ runs from August to August, giving the student a year’s opportunity to take ownership of their role before handing it over to a newly appointed University Ambassador. However, in January 2021, we proudly expanded our University Ambassador Programme by appointing another 16 ambassadors – doubling in size! Thanks to the continued support from OddBalls, one of the UK’s biggest underwear brands, we now have a diverse team of 50 University Ambassadors across the UK & Ireland, all from different ethnic backgrounds, with different genders and sexual orientations. Cancer does not discriminate, so being able to represent everybody is extremely important to us.
Testicular Cancer is unusual compared with other cancers because it tends to affect younger men; in fact, it is the most common type of cancer to affect men between the ages of 15 – 49. Having university students as our ambassadors is a powerful, relatable, and memorable way of evoking the conversation and encouraging young men to check themselves. Each University Ambassador has a responsibility to meet several different objectives to raise awareness of Testicular Cancer throughout the year. The main responsibilities include delivering Testicular Cancer Awareness sessions at schools, colleges, universities, businesses, as well as other organisations; distributing our 'Check Yourself' guides and 'Check Yourself' cushions into different locations and communal spaces across their city, hometowns, and university facilities.
As a team of 50 University Ambassadors, we are proud to deliver over 1,000 awareness sessions, reaching more than 150,000 people each year, and to distribute over 30,000 'Check Yourself' guides and cushions into the community. Our University Ambassadors are also committed to hosting or taking part in their own fundraising events each year to help support The OddBalls Foundation!
We aim to continue to grow to provide more opportunities for students to represent The OddBalls Foundation and have long term aspirations to set up the University Ambassador Programme internationally! It is an exciting time for The OddBalls Foundation, and we will continue to educate young people on the basics of Testicular Cancer, whilst supporting people through their experiences with Testicular Cancer.