Calendar girls

Sharon Birch
Sharon Birch

PICTURE perfect friends stripped down to their birthday suits to produce a cancer-fighting calendar.

Staff and parents from Footprints Nursery, in Tees Street, Hartlepool, shed their clothes for the Kay Smith Fund.

The 18 women and men were copying the Calendar Girls film that sees a women’s institute pose nude to raise money for a local hospital while creating a media storm.

All proceeds from the nursery’s £6 2012 calendar will go towards the charity in memory of 37-year-old Kay, who died of breast cancer in January 2006.

Sharon Birch, owner of the nursery, said: “It’s not what people really expect from a nursery, but it was all done in good taste and you can’t see anything!

“It’s all tongue-in-cheek.

“The Calendar Girls idea is ideal for breast cancer, and everyone got behind it and showed us lots of support. I think everyone felt very liberated and found it funny.

“It is a lot of fun, and will hopefully put a smile on people’s faces throughout next year.”

The group had travelled to Scotland, where Sharon lives, for a team building exercise and took part in the photoshoot while they were there.

Those getting their picture taken then put on t-shirts saying “we’ve been Birched” as they joked about taking part in the unusual charity campaign organised by the nursery boss.

The nursery has supported the Kay Smith Fund since it began in a bid to help with the early detection of breast cancer and pay for bereavement support for children who have lost a parent.

So far they have contributed £3,000 towards the charity.

Sharon added: “It is a great cause that we have supported since it started.

“I know there are a lot of other companies that support the Fund, but it is very worthwhile.

“This is one of a number of things we have done and we hope to carry on being creative and raising more money.”

The calendars are available from the nursery and from those who took part in the shoot, while Sharon hopes a number of local firms will also be selling them soon.