Calendar launch is a date to remember

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The launch night of a naked ladies calendar in aid of Brain Tumour Research has taken place at the Heath Inn, Heath and Reach.

Charity champion Nicole Phillips has confronted the terrible news that her brain tumour has returned by stepping up her fundraising efforts – and stripping naked!

Friends of Nicole, an inspirational Brain Tumour Research ambassador and supporter, joined her to bare all (or nearly all) for a calendar to raise funds for the charity. It was launched at the pub on November 20.

Chief organiser of the calendar, Lorraine Bateman said: “Everyone who came to the launch night had a fantastic time and the calendars were flying out of their boxes.

“The raffle prizes were hotly sought after and raffle tickets sales went through the roof. With live music and food, all kindly laid on by Tracy Balen, the new owner of The Heath Inn, the night was a huge success.

“Our great friend and inspiration for the calendar, Nicole Phillips, moved the packed pub to tears as she recounted her story from when she was first diagnosed with a brain tumour to finding out that the tumour had returned and spoke movingly about her determination to beat this brutal disease.

“She was so grateful to all her close friends who had rallied round over the years and helped her fundraising group Head 1st raise over £25,000 for Brain Tumour Research.”

Lorraine and friend Hayley Ellis came up with the idea of doing the naked calendar, They had raised over £1,650 for Head 1st by taking part in the Great North Run and were hoping to match this figure at the calendar launch night.

Lorraine added: “It was so amazing to find that the launch exceeded our target figure, raising a whopping £2,000, with more calendar sales yet to come.”

The Naked Ladies Calendar is on sale in local shops: Rubies Shoes, So You Boutique, Mememe, Sorelli’s Café and MC Bookkeeping, or online www.head1st.org.uk at £10 plus £3.95 p&p with all proceeds going to Brain Tumour Research.

Carol Robertson, Head of Community Fundraising at Brain Tumour Research commented: “As well as being a mum, wife and brain tumour patient, Nicole is a dedicated fundraiser, campaigner and organizer in the fight against brain tumours. It’s no surprise to us that her friends have been inspired to get together to produce this fabulous calendar to raise desperately needed funds. Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under the age of 40 yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. This is unacceptable!

“Brain Tumour Research is striving to fund a network of seven dedicated research centres whilst challenging the government and larger cancer charities to invest more in brain tumour research. Help us fund the fight. Together we will find a cure.”

For more information go to www.head1st.org.uk or www.braintumourresearch.org

Photo by Ashley Lewis.