Brave women from a village near Market Harborough who stripped off and posed for a new calendar have raised over £6,000 for two top health charities.
Ranging from their late 30s all the way up in to their 70s, the fearless villagers from Sibbertoft donned their best lingerie to shoot the Tastefully Nude calendar for 2022.
And the intrepid women who have put a smile on people’s faces throughout Harborough as well as around the world say they are “blown away” after helping to top up the coffers of the British Heart Foundation and Breast Cancer Now.
Sue Roughley, 57, who’s helped to spearhead the village venture, told the Harborough Mail: “We are absolutely thrilled, totally knocked out, by just how well we’ve all done.
“We have generated a total of £6,651.31 altogether for two fantastic life-saving charities as we’ve split the proceeds 50/50.
“We have sold 310 calendars – and people have chipped in £2,001 in donations!
“All the girls have been blown away by our success, it’s phenomenal,” said Sue.
“We hoped to rake in £3,000 when we set off - so we’ve more than doubled our target.
“The two charities told us that a calendar like this would usually sell about 150 copies.
“So to sell 310 is beyond our wildest dreams.
“Most have been snapped up by local people in Sibbertoft, the surrounding villages and Market Harborough.
“But we’ve also sold calendars to people in countries as far away as Holland, Poland, America and even Australia!
“It’s amazing to think that us girls from little old Sibbertoft looking our finest and not quite baring all are decorating the walls of homes all over the world,” laughed the spirited mum-of-two and grandmother-of-four.
The whole cheeky adventure kicked off after some of the women enjoyed a “prosecco-fuelled afternoon tea” in Sibbertoft last May.
“We were worried about tracking down 12 ladies who were going to be up for it,” joked Sue, who said they were inspired by the classic 2003 tear-jerking comedy Calendar Girls, starring Julie Walters and Helen Mirren.
“But our minds were soon put to rest as after doing a leaflet drop in the village an astonishing 22 women put their hands up!
“It’s been brilliant on so many levels.
“We’ve had a real laugh and so much fun stripping off to do the pictures.
“Thank goodness we’re not having to do it now because it’s far too cold.
“We’ve all made friends in Sibbertoft with people that we didn’t even know in our own village,” said Sue.
“It was just great to come together and have such a fantastic feelgood time after the difficult times we’ve all been through over the last couple of years.
“I’m so proud of all the girls who have taken part in this unique fundraiser.
“And I’d also like to thank all the people who have got behind us, bought our calendars and chipped in as well.
“We have exceeded all our expectations selling so many calendars – and attracting so many donations.
“The British Heart Foundation and Breast Cancer Now are so delighted and grateful for our support.
“The British Heart Foundation carries out a lot of crucial research at Glenfield Hospital just up the road and people here could really relate to that,” said Sue.
“We’ve also raised awareness of breast cancer – which affects so many of us.
“Women have told us that thanks to our work they’ve checked themselves, found lumps and gone straight out to get properly checked out.
“Luckily they were all OK.
“But it’s astonishing to know that we’ve had such a hugely-positive impact right across the board.”
Asked if her brave bunch of volunteer models are already lining up next year’s showstopping calendar, Sue smiled: “Never say never.
“I’m giving the girls a break for the moment.
“But I’m not ruling out a follow-up Tastefully Nude effort for 2023.
“We were so pleased when our story first appeared in the Harborough Mail last September that we pinned up a copy in the Red Lion here in Sibbertoft.
“It’s been a real blast from start to finish - so watch this space!”
Ellen Hindley, a Community Fundraising Executive for Breast Cancer Now, emailed Sue to thank her for their “amazing” support.
“We are incredibly grateful for the support that you have given us this year - and the amount you have raised for us is amazing,” Ellen told Sue.
She said that the £3,300 they raised could fund their tissue bank for a day, help over 5,000 people deal with hair loss caused by treatment and bankroll the Breast Cancer Now Research Unit for a day.