Wigan shop volunteer Kathy bares all for charity calendar

Kathy Knowles
Kathy Knowles

A charity shop volunteer stripped off for a cheeky calendar to raise money for a good cause.

Kathy Knowles, from Wigan, was among a group of friends who bared all for their version of Calendar Girls.

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Known as the Caravan Girls because they all holiday at Flintshire’s Tree Tops Caravan Park, they used props ranging from tractors to strategically-placed balls of wool when they posed for the photographs.

The calendar was created to raise money for Breast Cancer Care and features Kathy, a volunteer at Wigan and Leigh Hospice’s shop in Ashton, as Miss September.

The 56-year-old said: “I absolutely loved doing this calendar and meeting some gorgeous, friendly ladies. It has given me a buzz, lots more confidence and will hopefully make money for charity.”

The idea came from Rachel Anchors and Wendy Wild, who persuaded fellow caravanners to take the plunge.

But agreeing to be part of the calendar was only part of the challenge for the group of friends, who range in ages from 30s to mid-70s.

Rachel, 46, said: “My friend Wendy and I came up with the madcap idea one afternoon.

“Persuading other caravanners to take part was one thing but staging the photos, deciding where to take them, exploring the props to use and, more importantly, finding someone we trusted to take them, was quite another.

“Agreeing to take your clothes off, even for a good cause, is brave but it requires a greater level of bravery to actually do it.”

They turned to Andrew Walker, who runs Tree Tops with his parents. A keen amateur photographer, he offered to support the project, taking the pictures and meeting some of the printing costs.

Over the last few months, the group – which includes breast cancer survivors and people whose relatives have faced difficult health issues - has worked tirelessly to capture the perfect shot.

Rachel added: “We’ve all had personal reasons for wanting to be part of this and, as friends, we’ve also been able to share our stories, learn more about each other and have fun along the way. It’s made us closer but, more importantly, it’s about raising funds for Breast Cancer Care.”

The calendar was unveiled at a launch party in Prestatyn on Friday October 12.