Calendar Girls’ year-round fund-raising idea lifeboat crew

Cheque presented to crew members Ben Bradshaw (left) and Marc Pattinson. Kate Dyson third from left. Picture by Michael Scott/RNLI
Cheque presented to crew members Ben Bradshaw (left) and Marc Pattinson. Kate Dyson third from left. Picture by Michael Scott/RNLI

A group of women who came up with a year-round fund-raising initiative have donated their efforts to a life-saving organisation.

Members of North Shields Polytechnic Athletics Club created a Calendar Girls-style calendar for 2017 – raising £1,418 for Cullercoats Lifeboat in the process.

Kate Dyson came up with the idea for the tastefully fashioned calendar, with all the pictures being taken during last summer – some very early starts when no one was about.

Kate said: “Our Christmas calendar photograph was a bit surreal. It was photographed in the middle of June which was one of the hottest days of the year and the house we were being photographed in was fully decorated as if it were Christmas Day.

“I’d also like to thank Kimberly Cockburn for her time and effort – she volunteered to take the photographs for the calendar.’

The eight women, members of Cullercoats Open Water Swimmers (COWS), frequently swim in and around Cullercoats Bay and are always mindful of safety in the sea and when they swim they are aware of the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign.

Heather Gould, a member of COWS, added: “We all had a great time having the photographs taken, even though it meant sometimes getting up at 4am.

“As we are all open-water swimmers we are very much aware the great work all the volunteers at Cullercoats RNLI do. That’s why we decided as a group to donate the profits from the calendar to our local lifeboat station.”

Ben Bradshaw, helmsman at Cullercoats RNLI, said: “This donation is gratefully received, the funds raised will fully kit a volunteer crew member.

“Everyone at the station appreciates all the efforts of the group who helped produce the 2017 calendar.

“Without donations like this, our volunteer crew would be unable to carry on saving lives at sea.”