By Cara Sulieman
IT’S NOT just another nude calendar…it’s a Marks and Spencer nude calendar.
Staff at an Edinburgh branch of the chain are the latest group to get their clothes off for charity.
Fourteen employees working at the food hall in the Gyle store decided to try and raise £20,000 for breast cancer when one of the staff’s daughters found a lump after giving birth.
Although they knew they wanted to raise the money, it took them a while to settle on the idea of a nude calendar.
“A bit nervous”
Janet Moor has been a sales advisor at the store for seven years and is one of the models in the saucy calendar.
She said: “We were all a bit nervous with the idea at first, but now that we have seen the finished calendar I think everyone is really pleased.
“Everyone wanted to help out. We were delighted to get the men involved as we thought it was worth highlighting that men get breast cancer too.
“It was a bit awkward when we were doing the picture for Christmas though, as that includes everyone – men and women – and that was a bit worrying for everyone, but once we got started it was fine.”
The calendars have already hit the shelves of the store and are proving very popular, with £4,000 raised so far.
The snaps were taken over three Sunday nights at the store and feature staff members tastefully hidden behind flowers, umbrellas and other items that are sold in the store.
It is hoped that they can imitate the success of the Women’s Institute nude calendar that captured the nation’s attention in 2000.
Store manager Sarah Blackburn said: “I’m extremely proud of the hard work and dedication that has gone into making this calendar.
“Staff thoroughly enjoyed working together to produce pictures that were taken.
“I hope that we can recreate the success of the Women’s Institute version and raise a phenomenal amount for people affected by breast cancer in Edinburgh and Lothians.”
The main aim behind the calendar is raise the awareness of breast cancer and to encourage both men and women to regularly check their breast for any changes or abnormalities.
Mary Tait, health promotion facilitator for breast screening at Ardmillan House, added: “M&S staff at the Gyle store have done an absolutely fantastic job of organising this project, from co-ordinating the photography to sourcing a printer for the calendar, they have put so much hard work into it.
“It’s so important for women, as well as men, to be breast aware.
“The earlier breast cancer is found, the better the chance of beating it – so it’s vital that people make regular checks of their breasts and attend for breast screening when invited.”
The calendars can be bought at the Gyle branch of Marks and Spencer for £5 each and all money raised is going towards the Elaine Darling Breast Cancer Fund and South East Scotland Breast Screening Centre at Ardmillan House in Edinburgh.
Ardmillan House is NHS Lothian’s dedicated breast screening centre.