Calendar girls reveal all to raise funds

Mandy Manson
Mandy Manson
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BARING all for a charity calendar may be nothing new.

But it is not often you find someone who has convinced their 63-year-old mum and 70-year-old aunt to take part.

Mary Glynn

Mary Glynn

Yet that is exactly what Mandy Manson has managed to do as she roped in friends and family to support her fundraising drive.

The 37-year-old decided to try to raise £3650 in just 365 days after losing two grandparents and an aunt to cancer.

Mandy, a mother-of-one from Prestonpans, planned the calendar as the “grand finale” to her fundraising efforts.

In total, she gathered 13 volunteers in her front room for the shoot, including mum Mary Glynn and aunt Pauline Wallace, with the finished calendar set to go on sale at the beginning of next month for £10.

She said: “I wanted to do something extra, something a bit fun that would involve everybody.

“I thought doing a calendar would be a different take on the fundraising challenge. After putting out a Facebook ad asking if anyone would be interested, I was overwhelmed by the amount of people who showed an interest.”

Mandy admitted that, although initially enthusiastic, her older relatives needed some coaxing before allowing themselves to be shot by local photographer Su Boyle.

She said: “My aunt, who’s 70, kept her swimming costume on – I think that’s the only way she would do it in the end.

“But the guys who got involved, including my husband, Craig, just went in, got their kit off and got on with it, and I think that helped relax everyone else.

“The photographer was fantastic and really helped calm everyone down.”

Mandy was inspired to fundraise following the death of grandparents Margaret Glynn – to stomach cancer at the age of 92 in 1997 – and Charlie Russell, who died of bone cancer aged 87 in 2006. Her aunt, Greta Glynn, also passed away in 1999 aged 68 after developing a brain tumour.

She said their deaths left her devastated but provided the motivation she needed. She said: “I was very close to all of them and they were the first people in my immediate family who passed away as a result of cancer.

“When my grandad died it was such a shock, even though he was old and passed away quite quickly. With my nana, I didn’t want to admit to myself at the time what was wrong with her. It wasn’t spoken about in the family.

“There was a hole there after they died and it’s taken a long, long time to get over.

“By doing this calendar, I wanted to do my bit to give to research and at least try to stop others from going through the pain I felt.”

As well as the calendar, Mandy took part in a 132ft bungee jump and organised coffee mornings, a race night and a ladies night.

Mandy’s mum, Mary, who posed with a long piece of knitted fabric, said she took part because the calendar was for such a good cause.

She said: “I wouldn’t have done it otherwise. I think Mandy has put this calendar together as she thinks it’s something that will really sell and raise research funds, and that gave her a lot of encouragement to do it. I’m very proud of her.”