Jimmy’s racy charity boost

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BIG-HEARTED steelworker Jimmy Carney has shed his clothes - but it’s all in the name of a worthy charity.

The former Hartlepool man is one of 11 workers at the SSI steel plant in Redcar who posed scantily clad for a calendar.

The 28-year-old who now lives at Loftus admitted to plenty of nerves before the shoot.

But he said he overcame his nerves and now there’s been plenty of interest from people wanting copies of the £3 calendar.

Jimmy said: “I was determined to do it, especially as all the money will go to the Jo and Mya Memorial Fund.”

Jimmy has worked for two years at SSI as a steelmaker and was joined in the photoshoot by men from areas including Middlesbrough, Redcar and other parts of the Tees Valley. He left Hartlepool at 16 years old to join the Army and spent six years in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME).

He saw service in Iraq, Canada and Poland as a craftsman before returning to the North East and becoming a scaffolder for two years.

He then met his fiancee Lisa Willis, 29, who works at a SureStart centre in Loftus, and they plan to marry in February next year.

Jimmy now lives in Loftus and told how the chance to appear in the charity shoot emerged.

“One of our engineers is a friend of Ian Richardson who runs the charity. He went round everyone asking if they would do it.

“At first, I did not think I would be cut out for it but I agreed and it has been brilliant.

“At first I was nervous but as it went on, I got more confident and I thought ‘it’s all for charity so why not’.”

Each of the men has been given a box of 150 calendars to sell at £3 each.

And Jimmy admits there has been plenty of interest so far.

“The ladies who did my spray tan want one for their shop.”

All funds will go to the Jo and Mya Memorial Fund run by Ian Richardson, 40.

It was set up in memory of Ian’s wife Joanne, 40, and eldest daughter Mya, aged six, who died in a car accident in August 2010.

Ian and his daughter Ava, now aged three, survived the crash.

The charity supports children who have lost loved ones.

For more details, including how to give support, visit either www.joandmya.co.uk or the fund’s Facebook page.