When fifteen ladies from northeast Wales, who range in age from 64 to 85, decided to raise money for local cancer charities, the stereotypical bake sale or knit-a-thon never even made it to their fundraising conversation table. Instead, these “glamorous grannies” opted to strip down, bare it all, and become “calendar girls” on a mission to help fight a terrible disease.
The 2015 Wrinklies Charity Calendar was the brainchild of 71-year-old Jenny Stephens. “I wanted to do something to raise money for charity in memory of my niece Bethan Waters who lost her battle with breast cancer in April last year at the age of 35,” Jenny explained. “Also for my dear sister-in-law Joan Stephens and friends Don and Joan Owens, also lost to cancer recently.”
With that, Jenny, along with the other selfless women supporting her vision, opted for the go bold, or go home approach to philanthropy.
Photographed pro bono by Chris Birchall, the photo shoots took place at various indoor and outdoor locations, and involved some strategically placed tea cakes and knitting.
Of shooting these 15 courageous women who have an incredible 1,053 years of life between them, Chris remarked, “Our calendars are ‘naughty but nice’ full of humour and always tasteful. These are a great bunch of ladies, full of fun and not a bit inhibited.”
The 2015 Wrinklies Charity Calendar launched in October, and the ladies have already raised more than half their £10,000 ($15,000) target. The proceeds raised through the sale of the calendar will be distributed to a variety of local cancer charities.
When people ask Jenny what it’s like to pose nude she puts it all in perspective, “Who cares about saggy bits and the odd wrinkle? We need to cherish our bodies whatever our age. Life is too short to worry.”All images © Chris Birchall