Elders release nude calendar to save Kensal Green charity's dementia services
PUBLISHED: 11:30 05 June 2019 | UPDATED: 11:40 05 June 2019
Ten Kensal Green charity members have taken a leaf from the Calendar Girls and stripped off to raise money for its dementia cafe.
Staff and service users of Elders's Voice,in Mortimer Road, have posed for their In Rude Health Calendar 2020 to raise awareness and change perceptions about ageing.
The idea was the brainchild of operations manager Karolina Januszek who felt she had "nothing to lose" after public funding dried up for the centre's dementia services.
After Liam Young, a professional artist and photographer agreed to volunteer, she then also had to find enough people who were willing to take all their clothes off.
"I was inspired by the famous Calendar Girls movie and thought that I could be creative and raise funds for our dementia cafes that way," she said.
"Some said that they would have loved to do it but weren't brave enough, while others were thrilled to pose nude!
"Some said that they were actually dreaming about taking part in a project like this one and it became clear it was going to have a huge positive impact on the people involved.
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This fundraising calendar is designed to make people laugh, maybe even blush, but above all, it aims to change public perception about ageing."
Pantomime director Christopher Dunham and comedian Walton Mclaren were among the centre's community who stripped off.
Clair Chapwell, founder of the Bolder Voices choir, said she felt "impetuous". "It felt like the folly of youth even though I was 65 when I did it," she said. "It was quite freeing when we were all just hanging around on that nice sunny September day."
Charity chief Jenny Davison added: "It wasn't too big a decision to make to pose nude. As CEO I was happy to do this, although a tad self-conscious at the time.
Although I think there are limitations to what one should do for one's charity, I felt this was well within those limitations and I think the calendar is very tasteful and celebratory.
"Elders Voice likes to explore all avenues to raise our profile and raise funds, and we thought this was a fun way to do both."
Karolina added: "All proceeds the will go towards the Dementia Cafes, as we can't just close them. They are a lifeline to many residents of Brent."
Calendars cost £15. Go to https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/143264596807