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Stripping off for charity

Teresa reveals all about her Breathe Easy group's cheeky calendar.

BE Notts West Calendar

I'm a retired nurse, and member of the Breathe Easy Nottingham West support group, and we wanted to raise money to look after the UK's lungs.

Some people jump out of planes, others hold Big Breakfasts. We decided to get our kit off and do a charity calendar! 

Here are a few glimpses at the story behind every month's photo.


"Why not give up smoking, or lose those extra pounds?"

Veronica is our first member to feature in the calendar. She has asthma, and is a retired nurse of 40 years.

When we spoke to her about the calendar, she was more than happy to get stuck in - though we don't mention sticky tape strategically placed around and under her outfit!

Advice and support on giving up smoking.


"Keep warm, wear your winter woolies, stay healthy!"

To remind us all to wrap up warm in the colder months, Ann posed with two of her lovely fluffy alpacas. Just out of shot is the audience - even more alpacas, looking most perplexed.

As well as looking after her pets, Ann is a carer for Sylvia who has bronchiectasis. 

How can you keep well in the cold?


"Remember to take your medication and inhalers"

Joan has severe COPD. She was so enthusiastic about being in the calendar that on the day of the shoot that she almost took off her dressing gown directly in front of her main window.

We had a such a laugh that day, and tried lots of different angles until we arrived on the final picture (which was also strategically shot to include her shiny new fireplace). 

Medications for COPD


"Pulmonary rehabiliation really helped me. See your GP or nurse."

Sheila had been having a really bad week before she did the photoshoot. She has severe COPD, but decided to do the photo to see if it might cheer her up.

It worked! She told us that her and her husband hadn't laughed so much in ages, and that she felt so much better afterwards. She's still laughing, she tells us... 

Information on pulmonary rehabiliation


"Keep active - join your Breathe Easy exercise group"

Lynn is a fitness instructor, which is why we asked her to pose with the fitness ball. What you can't see is that she's actually wearing her swim suit!

Lots of people saw her through the hall windows, but Lynn just gave them a fab regal wave, as if this was her everyday job. 

Find your nearest Breathe Easy group


"Allergies? Avoid your triggers, and ask your pharmacist for help"

When we arrived at Jane's house to take her photo, suddenly out came the Christmas presents! The posh washing up gloves, the silk flowers and the feather duster...

We also highlighted the importance of knowing your allergy triggers with this one, as Jane is allergic to the duster. 

Your home and your lungs


"Learn to relax! Mindfulness is good to help you stay in the here and now"

We had such a laugh with this one!

Rosie often has a massage at the meetings. This time, just as she was settling onto the stool, with no top on, an electrician popped into the cupboard behind to check the fuses! There was a mad scramble and a few blushes when he reemerged, I can tell you.

Learn more about mindfulness


"We all have a management plan and we are in control of our health"

We took this photo during one of out monthly meetings and it was so funny.

When the men emerged from the changing room in just shorts, there was plenty of wolf whistles. And we just loved the cheeky look on the men's faces. For one of them, it was his first visit to the group - but luckily (and surprisingly) he's been back time and again since.

Check out our self-management pack


"My Breathe Easy group gives me the support I need"

Before the photoshoot, Ian, who has severe chest pains, used to be one of the quietest members of group.

We were more than surprised when he got up out of his seat after seeing the above photoshoot, and took off his shirt! We couldn't help but take his photo. 

Find support in your area


"Time for your flu jab"

Lynn looks after Colin, who appears in the August photo.

We have to thank the local priest for all the harvest props - including the pumpkins. Originally, Lynn was holding them slightly differently. We knew something was missing, but we weren't sure what. Then we spun them this way round. Success! 

Find out if you should have the flu jab


"Join a BLF Big Breakfast and help raise money for the BLF"

Here's me and my mum - hello!

This photo gave us a few technical difficulties. We couldn't find a big enough frying pan for one thing, and we couldn't get the sausages to stick to the pan long enough for us to take a photo. Luckily, my mum thought of using some brown tape.

How can you raise money with a BLF Big Breakfast?


"Order your turkey, order your prescriptions!"

Thanks to the nurses who spent half their dinner break posing with balloons for our calendar.

And sorry to the poor nurses who had to be last minute stand ins. One minute they were sitting innocently at their desk, the next they were stripping off in cupboard!

This lovely happy picture takes pride of place on the front cover of the calendar. 

We had a great time putting the calendar together - and even better, we've raused an incredible £2,100 - and more than a few giggles - along the way.

You don't have to take your clothes off to take action - get inspired with some of our fundraising ideas.

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25 February 2016