A GAME group of gals in southern Oxfordshire sparkled as models while re-enacting the risqué film Calendar Girls to help their community.

A group of friends posed in a cheeky photoshoot to repay Abingdon Food Bank and The Abingdon Bridge. which have been especially supportive to people during the Covid-19 crisis.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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The women were inspired by the true tale of Calendar Girls turned into a film that touched the hearts of millions of people.

It told the story of a group of women – well past their youth – who decide to pose for a nude calendar when they find out that one of their husbands is diagnosed with terminal leukaemia and needs to raise funds for treatment.

All elements in the production – design, artwork, models, copywriting and marketing were donated.

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The calendar, which is already in circulation across Abingdon just in time for Christmas, costs £9.99 and can be found in a lot of independent businesses in the centre of the town.

It can also be ordered from Covid Girls Charity Calendar group on Facebook.

All proceeds from the sales will go to local charities Abingdon Food Bank and The Abingdon Bridge.