Express & Star

Calendar Girls on the fairway

A golf club is abuzz after the ladies team got into the swing of posing for a Calendar Girls style almanac to raise charity cash.

May - God Save the King Photo: Phao Hewitson

The effort involving 51 members of Walsall Golf Club saw the birdies take on the challenge inspired by the 2003 movie comedy starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters in aid of residents with life-limiting illnesses and their families.

They came up with the idea for designing and selling the calendar in aid of St Giles Hospice after the club's Lady Captain Stephanie Haynes chose it as her fundraising charity for the year.

Stephanie explains: "We have had so much fun and laughter producing my idea and I’d like to thank all those who have been involved for their time, creativity and generosity."

"It had really enjoyed the film Calendar Girls, so it was a real boon to organise. We were enjoying champagne at our end of year presentation evening when the idea popped into my head to do it for St Giles Hospice.

"During the evening and after enlisting the assistance of fellow member and garden photographer Phao Hewitson I recruited 31 volunteers as models for a ‘Calendar Girls’ style calendar for 2023.

"With only three weeks to achieve it, I had the daunting task of organising the volunteers into groups for each month, whilst coping with the additional volunteers coming forward and we ended up with 51 in total.

"Each group was asked for themes for the months, to gather props and liaise to book suitable dates to take the pictures. We had some major challenges including the weather and people's work shifts, but it was a fantastic effort by all involved.

"We put the ladies into groups and appointed a team leader for each to help to co-ordinate it which worked really well. It was an opportunity for some people to make new friends with others they wouldn't normally play with.

"The photographs were taken and ready for calendar production by November 14."

Themes include a festive theme along with a nod to next May's coronation of King Charles III.

To get the project up and running the group managed to attract £1,270 in sponsorship from the club members towards covering printing costs for 250 copies of the colour calendar.

They have so far attracted 235 orders and are considering increasing the print run.

Phao Hewitson added: "I’m so proud to belong to Walsall Golf Club Ladies section and I wasn’t at all surprised when so many of our members volunteered to help with Steph’s project.

"We are a fun loving friendly group and the volunteers range from members with years of golfing experience to the newbies who have joined the club through our supportive new member programme over the last couple of years."

To order copies telephone the club on 01922 613512.

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