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Cornish knitting group get naked for charity

Members of a crochet and knitting group that meet at a Bodmin wool shop took the brave decision to bare all for a cheeky new calendar that aims to raise money for two Cornish charities.

The Knit and Natter group meet regularly at Knit Happens, based at Travail Business Park in Bodmin to improve their crafting skills and, crucially, enjoy socialising with like-minded people.

It was during a conversation at one of the group’s regular get-togethers that quickly led to the idea of creating their own charity calendar to raise money for Cornwall Air Ambulance and the Mermaid Centre.

The Knit Happens - Knit Natter and Nude Knit 2023 calendar features members of the group in tastefully posed shots at the shop, with their modesty preserved by some well-positioned balls of wool.

Nic Gilliard, a member of the group, said: “The idea stemmed from a chat one day while we were knitting when I was talking about my day job as a body painter. One member of the group joked about creating our own naked fundraising calendar and somehow it escalated very quickly into becoming a reality.”

The two local charities that will benefit from the calendar are close to the hearts of the group members for a variety of reasons.

Victoria Ellacott, owner of Knit Happens and main sponsor of the calendar, said: “Chatting with the group, we realised that some of our members had used the Mermaid Centre at the Royal Cornwall Hospital where they were treated for breast cancer. So, it seems apt that our calendar will go to help the Mermaid Centre to support thousands of women each year in Cornwall diagnosed with breast cancer. “Being a part of the mountain biking community, we have seen first-hand how vital the Cornwall Air Ambulance service is and we’re pleased to help to keep it flying so they can continue to save lives across Cornwall.”

Group member Sarah Jones, whose quip was the catalyst for the venture, said: “Never in a million years would I have thought I would have the courage to do something like this, but I did, and I am very proud of myself and everyone else who took part.”

Victoria concluded: “I didn’t think that I could keep such a huge secret to myself for so long. I didn’t even tell my parents or children! But, what an amazing secret to keep. We are thankful to the sponsors and those who have given up their time to help make it happen. In the words of Vinnie Jones; It’s been emotional!”

The calendars are now on sale in-store at Knit Happens and in Cornwall Air Ambulance stores at Bodmin, St Austell, Camborne, Truro, Helston, Newquay and Wadebridge. They can also be ordered online by visiting


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