A group of friends have created a cheeky charity calendar to raise money for the Abingdon Food Bank and The Abingdon Bridge, which have been especially supportive to people during the Covid-19 crisis. Their inspiration came from the true tale of Calendar Girls which was turned into a film that touched the hearts of millions of people.
The calendar costs £9.99 and can be found in a lot of independent businesses in the centre of the town or ordered from the Covid Girls Charity Calendar group on Facebook.
The pictures for the 2021 calendar were taken inside Abingdon businesses including R & R Coffee Shop on Market Place, Fabulous Flowers on Bridge Street and Masons Needlecraft Shop on Bath Street. All elements in the production – design, artwork, models, copywriting and marketing were donated.
The people behind the idea are residents Claire Rowland, Lynne Smith, Laury Conn and owner of Devine Times Photography Martin Wackenier, who took pictures of the participants. They mustered the wicked plan while having lunch at the Brewery Tap in the beginning of July, just after pubs and restaurants were given the green light to reopen.
Graphic designer Claire Rowland recalled how strange it was just to finally be able to see her friends for a drink. She said the group was discussing how the pandemic had affected businesses in Abingdon and how many were struggling financially – especially Chic It Up Interiors on St Helen’s Street that had opened for the first time in January and was forced to shut doors only three months later.
Explaining how they decided to make a calendar Ms Rowland said: “We all wanted to do something to help the businesses but also help charities in Abingdon that have done so much for the community.
“So, we thought we can all pose for a calendar that would be sponsored by businesses in the town.
“While initially we had all decided to do nude pictures, we woke up in the morning with a clear head and thought it was a bad idea."
“It was definitely the wine talking that day.”
"Above all, the calendar is about honouring the hardships that people have had to endure in these unprecedented times."