Express & Star

Black Country 'Calendar Wenches' bare all for breast cancer charities

The Black Country's very own Calendar Girls stripped off in support of a friend who is battling breast cancer.

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Unwrapped for a festive December shoot

Sam Chatwin-Wood, from Cradley Heath, had a group of friends around for drinks for her birthday in February, including Joanne Dunn, who was diagnosed with breast cancer aged only 33.

The calendar is supporting two breast cancer charities

After Jo left early, the group of friends decided to do a charity calendar in the style of the famous film Calendar Girls, which was inspired by a real group of women who made an 'alternative' WI calendar in 1999.

The 13 women decided to call the calendar The Calendar Wenches, both a tribute to the 2003 blockbuster film and an ode to their roots as women from the Black Country.

Although the women were nervous to begin with, they quickly got into their stride.

Anyone for tea...and cupcakes!

Sam, 34, who is a veteran fundraiser and has raised £17,000 for various charities in the past, said: "We had a few wines to start off with. The first picture was of the horses, and the three ladies in the picture were so brilliant, they got them out straight away."

Front centre, Sam Chatwin with, from left, Lynn Purewal, Abbie Crump, Stacey Morgan and Sue Banner with their copies of the Calendar Wenches 2023 calendar created for charity

The women took photos in a variety of locations, including on a horse, a summer house and a hairdressing salon owned by one of the women taking part.

Support quickly flooded in for the calendar, with a GoFundMe page raising more than £1,300.

The calendar is supporting two breast cancer charities

The page was initially to raise around £600 for the printing of 500 calendars, but the remaining money will go towards printing more calendars or directly to the charities themselves.

A number of people also donated their services for free: Jayne Homer styled the women's hair, Diane and Abby from Dollface Hair and Beauty made up the women for the shoot, and Rebecca Hadley took the photographs.

Co-op Funeral Care also donated two limousines for the shoot and provided food for the day.

The Calendar Wenches project

All funds raised by the sale of the calendars will go to two breast cancer charities: Breast Cancer Now and Birmingham-based Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer.

The thirteen women involved are: Sam Chatwin-Wood, Sue Banner, May Turner, Ann Lowe, Shona Smith, Celia Cooper, Lorraine Fenton, Jan Bishop, Julie Skett, Diane Denny, Stacey Morgan, Abbie Crump, and Lynn Purewal.

To buy a calendar, which costs £10, go to

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