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Baring all in Sutton Bridge for charity calendar

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Dozens of people have been queuing up to strip off and join the fun of producing a charity calendar in a Fenland tea shop.

Pippa Burrows, who runs Pippa's Pantry in Sutton Bridge, came up with the fundraising idea after watching the inspirational film 'Calendar Girls' when it was on television over Christmas.

She put her suggestion on the café's Facebook page and could not believe the response she got.

Pippa Burrows and partner John during their photoshoot. (55838419)
Pippa Burrows and partner John during their photoshoot. (55838419)

"It was absolutely overwhelming. So many people thought it was a great idea and wanted to do it. We've had two meetings, and have managed to find sponsors for every month of the year," said Pippa, who is hoping the venture will raise around £10,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.

Pippa chose the charity in memory of her dad David Burrows, who died of the disease eight years ago at the age of 73.

She said: "Prostate cancer affects so many men, and I not only wanted to raise money for the charity but also awareness about the need for men to check themselves and to see a doctor if they have any concerns.

From left: Sarah Waters, John, Helen Lenton, and Jo Lyon captured during their April photshoot. (55838422)
From left: Sarah Waters, John, Helen Lenton, and Jo Lyon captured during their April photshoot. (55838422)

"Men tend to bury their heads in the sand, but they need to do checks."

The calendar has proved a huge hit with people who have signed up and have their own stories to tell.

Those stories are being captured by videographer Neil Southwick, who is making a documentary of the calendar shoots, which will be shown to all participants at a special screening in September when the calendar will be launched at £10 each.

There are groups of five or six for every month of the year and each month has a different theme related to the business that is sponsoring it, but every picture has a sunflower in it as that was David's favourite flower.

Every month also has at least one man in the shot as a symbol of why the calendar is being made.

The front cover will focus on a team of men who have been carrying out work on the Sutton Bridge swing-bridge.

Pippa said: "They just came in the other day and said they wanted to take part. There are about 10 of them and so we are reserving the front for them. All I can tell you about their shoot is it will involve hard hats and fluorescent vests."

April is the month chosen by Pippa and her team as it was her dad's birthday and so she, her husband John and two members of staff have already had their photo-shoot with the café as their theme.

Local photographers are taking the photos free of charge, and Jade Robinson, a local make-up artist, has offered to do all the hair and make-up for the sessions.

Pippa concluded: "All the shoots are being carried out at the Pantry, and every day we are humbled by the amazing people who are turning up to take part. It has been totally overwhelming."

Pippa's Pantry is closed this week while it undergoes a small refurb but it will re-open on Tuesday, April 12, and there are collecting boxes where people can make donations to the charity."

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