Wigan ladies bare all in memory of beloved sister who loved life

The 22 ladies, including Lynne Aspey (centre holding a picture of sister Josie), who took part in a Calendar Girls photoshoot
The 22 ladies, including Lynne Aspey (centre holding a picture of sister Josie), who took part in a Calendar Girls photoshoot

Lab expert Lynne Aspey dared to bare with her family and friends to fund-raise for medical equipment in memory of her late sister.

Following in the footsteps of the original Calendar Girls, 22 Wigan ladies stripped off to pose for a variety of cheeky photos at Highfield Cricket Club for the 2020 calendar.

Josie Jolley

Josie Jolley

Since 2014, Lynne, who works as a phlebotomist for Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL), has raised around £10,000 for charity in memory of her sister Josie Jolley who died of breast cancer in 2017 at the age of 64. The calendars alone have already raised £2,600.

The numerous events Lynne and her family have supported or organised have comprised of raffles, entertainment evenings and several local men and women taking part in The Full Monty shows.

The latest fund-raising total of £1,300 – donated to the trust’s Three Wishes Foundation – will be split equally between the Wigan-based South Lancashire Breast Screening Unit at the Thomas Linacre Centre and the Wigan Cancer Care Centre, located at Wigan Infirmary, where Josie was treated.

Lynne, who is based at Wrightington Hospital, said: “Our Josie would have loved all this fund-raising and the outpouring of love for her. It’s such a shame that she is not around to see it all because she would have laughed with pride, especially at the Calendar Girls shoot.

Lynne Aspey with Sue Binns, Macmillan palliative care specialist, and Janette Sanders, palliative care team leader

Lynne Aspey with Sue Binns, Macmillan palliative care specialist, and Janette Sanders, palliative care team leader

“Everyone who knew her knows she was a very happy lady who always kept positive – even when she was being delivered the news about her cancer and towards the end of her life.

“She loved her Northern Soul music, her job as a cleaner at Mab’s Cross Primary School and her family – she would have been so grateful to everyone who has donated over the past few years.”

Lynne, 55, added of her sister’s care: “The care and support Josie received at the Cancer Care Centre at Wigan made the chemotherapy more bearable. While Josie was at the unit she took advantage of the reiki that was on offer and also the Macmillan service who offered lots of support at such a difficult time.”

Josie was looked after by the Macmillan palliative care team throughout her treatment and at the end of her life.

Sue Binns, Macmillan supportive and palliative care nurse specialist, said: “This donation will help us considerably and will go towards a syringe driver which is a small portable machine that provides patients a continuous stream of pain-relieving medication during end of life care.”

Lisa Buckley, breast screening office manager of the South Lancashire Breast Screening Unit, added: “This donation will help us considerably and will go towards a new ultrasound machine at the Thomas Linacre Centre.

“It will help reduce the waiting time for the diagnosis of cancers in affected women awaiting treatment options and is therefore of superior importance.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/threewishes/donate to find out more about Three Wishes, a charity that continues to support a wide range of healthcare services and facilities in respect of medical equipment, patients welfare, staff facilities and education throughout WWL.