Calendar Girls make a date with Pendleside

Two of the famous Calendar Girls are getting ready to appear as part of Pendleside Hospice’s Sunflower Memories Appeal for the second consecutive year.

Christine Clancy and Angela Knowles MBE are two of the 11 brave members of Rylstone and District WI who bared all in a charity calendar, sparking copycat calendars worldwide.

The women were inspired to strip in aid of Leukaemia Research after Angela’s husband, John Baker, lost his battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The amount they raised far exceeded their initial goal to buy a new sofa for the local hospital – they aimed to raise £5,000 and have since raised over £5 million.

Both Christine and Angela attended Pendleside’s Sunflower Memories service last June, delivering readings and listening to people’s stories.

Christine said: “It’s very fitting as we share a sunflower as our emblem – this comes from when Angela visited John in hospital with her daughter Georgina and there were lots of Get Well Soon cards featuring sunflowers.

“It was Georgina’s idea to plant sunflower seeds to give to family and friends of John, which would flower when he entered remission. Sadly that didn’t happen, however they did all come into flower that July, around the time when he sadly passed, so we see them as the flower of hope. Sunflowers are such a happy flower – they make you smile.”

Pendleside’s Sunflower Memories Appeal allows supporters to dedicate a sunflower plaque to a loved one each summer. All the sunflower plaques will have the name of a loved one handwritten on and be planted in the hospice gardens, creating a colourful display of remembrance ready for the Celebration of Life service in June.

Lisa Pearson, head of income generation at Pendleside Hospice, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to have Christine and Angela with us for our Sunflower Memories Appeal once again. They shared so many experiences with us last year and spent time with families hearing their stories, it was so heart-warming to see. 

“The sunflower plaques signify that summer’s on its way and bring so much extra colour to the hospice gardens in time for the Celebration of Life service. It’s always a key calendar date for us at the hospice and it’s brilliant to have the Calendar Girls involved again!”

To find out more about sponsoring a sunflower this year, please contact the Fundraising team on 01282 440120.