11 September 2023

Men impacted by prostate cancer who are shopping at Westfield Kotara, Charlestown Square and Wallsend Shopping Centre can now shop with confidence, following the installation of continence product disposal bins in male toilet facilities.

The initiative, led by Hunter Prostate Cancer Awareness and Support Group Leaders Brendon and Margaret Young, supports the Continence Foundation of Australia’s Bins4Blokes campaign which promotes the installation of continence bins in male public toilets Australia-wide.

In Australia, more than 25,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year – and many experience temporary or long-term incontinence after treatment.

Mr Young said incontinence is a side effect that not many men talk about, but one that can have a detrimental impact on their mental health.

“Through the Support Group, we’ve seen a real need for better support for men experiencing incontinence,” he said.

“Not only women need bins in their bathrooms. There are also many men who have incontinence.

“To be able to provide men with a cubicle with a bin installed, provides them with the dignity and support they require to socialise and shop in the community with confidence.

“Without continence bins, men experiencing these issues can often feel added distress when leaving the home as they have no place to privately dispose of continence products.”

Mr Young said after reaching out to the three shopping centres, he was delighted with their prompt response and implementation of the bins.

“We are deeply grateful to Westfield Kotara, Charlestown Square and Wallsend Shopping Centre for installing the bins to help all blokes impacted by incontinence and putting up posters to let more men know about these,” he said.

Around 1.34 million Australian males live with urinary and/or bowel incontinence, including many men impacted by prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia has recently teamed up with the Continence Foundation of Australia to support the Bins4Blokes campaign, helping raise awareness of the need for disposal bins and to encourage more Councils, businesses and shopping centres to include continence product disposal bins in male toilets.

Mr Young encouraged Prostate Cancer Support Groups to become local advocates of the program and help get more bins installed in communities across the country.

“The encouragement for other support groups would be that, with only a little effort you can make a huge difference to the men in your community,” he said.

“Get out and do something - it’s not hard and can be very rewarding.”

For more information about how to get involved, visit https://bins4blokes.org.au or download PCFA’s resource here.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. For more information about prostate cancer and for support for managing continence issues, reach out to PCFA on 1800 22 00 99 to speak with a nurse or visit www.pcfa.org.au.