Project Red Socks

Red Socks is a project of the Rotary Club of Townsville Sunrise, Qld, initiated in 2014 following the passing of longtime member Denis Denmead from prostate cancer.

Dennis was born in England and was a devout supporter of the Arsenal Football Club. As a result, he only wore red socks – Arsenal’s primary colour.

Project Red Socks aims to promote prostate cancer awareness and encourage men over 50 years old to visit their doctor for a full prostate check. They are then presented with a pair of red socks.

The project helps promote the message of a leading Townsville urologist/prostate specialist that ‘untested men are a dying breed’.

Recently, the Hervey Range Rural Fire Brigade partnered with the Rotary Club of Townsville Sunrise to deliver 120 Red Socks packs to local households, including rural properties in the community.

Each household received a pair of Rotary Red Socks, a message on what Rotary is about, and information on the need for men aged over 50, or those with a family history, to consult with their doctor about prostate cancer.

Statistics show a 20 per cent increase in prostate cancer death rates in rural areas compared with metropolitan areas.

There are also significant mental health concerns for some males diagnosed with this disease.

Like other rural communities where the project has been successfully introduced, the Hervey Range project will encourage men in the area to become more aware of this disease and take early preventative testing action to ensure they don’t become part of the 20 per cent statistic. Early detection is essential for effective treatment of the disease.

In the 10 years Project Red Socks has been running, 10,000 pairs of socks with the Rotary warning message have been delivered throughout Australia and overseas.

Community targeted rural awareness projects are an easy project for Rotary clubs to undertake, at the same time promoting Rotary and saving lives.