Burnley pals behind Support After Suicide take inspiration from record-breaking movie Calendar Girls for their latest fundraiser
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Sharon Chapman, Vicky Stevenson, Trish Buck, Tracy Moran, and Pauline Smith, who run fundraising group Support After Suicide and play darts together in a pub team, have followed in the footsteps of the film’s characters by posing for their own calendar.
Copies can be picked up at SPAR in Burnley Road and Hare & Hounds in Halifax Road, and can be ordered on Pendleside Hospice’s website, with 150 having already been sold in the first week. The proceeds will help to pay for counselling sessions at the hospice for anyone bereaved by suicide.
Sharon said: “We were all chatting, thinking of ways to raise money and someone said, ‘Let’s do a Calendar Girls-style calendar’.
"Everyone said they’d do it and we messaged some girls who play darts for the Craven Heifer. We had no problem getting people to take their clothes off.”
The community has rallied round the friends to help make the project a success, Sharon added.
"The photographer donated his time and 12 local businesses sponsored a page each. We’ve raised around £7,000 through various fundraisers and hope to reach £15,000 through the calendar sales, plus our band night and ball later this year.
"Everybody seems to be affected by suicide but nobody talks about it. The support we’ve had has been unbelievable and shows how much people want it to be out there.”
Sharon, who lost her husband Mark to suicide, added: “Previously, I felt stigmatised whereas now I don’t feel like that. I don’t want anyone to feel like that. I think everybody knows someone who’s felt suicidal, and we just want to provide as much help as we can.
"I didn’t talk about Mark’s suicide for the first few years but meeting people who have come on our events or offered to help because they have been affected by it has really helped – you don’t feel so alone.
"We’ve built quite a little community where people feel safe and don’t feel judged.”
The band night will take place on Saturday, October 21st, from 7-30pm at The Electric Circus in Bank Parade, Burnley, while the ball is on Saturday, November 18th, at Turf Moor, starting at 7-30pm.