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Soham calendar girls hand over cheques for £26,000

Soham Mum's cheque presentation (7860169)
Soham Mum's cheque presentation (7860169)

A group of women who posed for a saucy calendar to raise money for charities close to their hearts have handed over cheques for more than £26,000.

Strong Soham Mums was set up in September last year after Alison Fitt, whose son Charlie died in June 2017 from a rare immune illness, asked other mothers who had endured the tragedy of the death of a child if they would be interested in posing for for pictures in the style of the award-winning Calendar Girls film to raise cash for charity.

Twelve Soham women took part in the project to produce a 2019 calendar which was launched in October 2018 and, after an initial story in the Journal, the group became an overnight sensation, with television appearances and features in the national and international press.

“It was amazing, said Alison. “When I first thought of it I didn’t know whether other mums would support the idea and, when they did, I thought that it would be good if we managed to raise £5,000."

On Wednesday the group gathered at Alison’s home in Paddock Street where Claire Billing, of the Addenbrook’s Charitable Trust, was handed a cheque for £13,205, to be used for the children’s wards, and Mark Turner and Clair Bradley, of the Road Victims’ Trust, collected another cheque for the same amount.

Soham calendar (7860262)
Soham calendar (7860262)

Alison said that members of the Soham Strong Mums still got together from time to time although no further projects were currently in the pipeline.

“It’s always good to meet up for a drink or for coffee and a chat and it still a source of strength to all of us to know there are other mothers close at hand who have been through the same thing,” said Alison.

“At the moment, I have a lot of other stuff to sort out, including a headstone for my son Charlie, which is a very hard thing to think about and my head is full of that but in the future who knows? We may come up with another idea.”

Asked whether a Soham Dads calendar was a possibility, Alison said she thought it was ‘very unlikely’.

The other members of the group, who each posed for a month in the calendar with their modesty ingeniously preserved by photographer Alicia Marshall, were Claire Danks, Nicola Wells, Lesley Allen, Sarah Fairhurst, Carol Brannon, Sheila Abbott, Tanya Allen, Louise Scarrpw, Lesley Webster-Chivers, Natasha Green and Emma Carter-Burch.