EFFORTS are stepping up to promote a Morpeth charity calendar after one of its first sponsors was killed in a tragic accident.
Dozens of workers and businesses in Coopies Lane Industrial Estate have come together and bared all to produce the calendar after it was suggested by Nor’s Cafe and Takeaway owner Nor Lyall.
The light-hearted publication has a more serious purpose as it is being sold in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care and many of its ‘models’ and sponsors have had experience of cancer, whether suffering the illness personally or seeing their family and friends go through it.
And now the team behind the project is even more determined to see the fund-raiser succeed following the death of Mark Flynn, who helped kick off the initiative.
Mr Flynn was killed in a crash on the Coast Road on Tuesday, November 27, at the age of 38.
While he lived in Blyth, he was a frequent visitor to the Morpeth cafe and when Mrs Lyall suggested the calendar he was firmly behind her. His friend Sandy Fairbairn had previously had a cancer scare and Mr Flynn was keen to sponsor him to take part.
Now five months on, the calendar is on sale and is being promoted in Mr Flynn’s memory.
Mrs Lyall said: “When Mark offered to give a donation, he helped to get the whole project started off and he sold quite a few of the calendars as well so now we want to sell as many as we possibly can in memory of him.
“We are all extra-motivated.
“It is in memory of Mark, but it is also in memory of all people who have suffered from cancer or lost someone they love. Because of what happened to Mark it has just brought everything to the fore.
“We are really pushing the calendar now to make it one of the best charity fund-raisers going.”
The idea of the calendar was first suggested as a joke after Mrs Lyall’s son was involved in a similar project with colleagues in Scotland last year.
She kept his calendar in the cafe and regularly showed it to customers, suggesting they could do the same.
About 15 workers from the estate came forward as models, including Mrs Lyall herself, while local photographer John Phillips took the pictures, Northumbria Print published it and Mrs Lyall’s colleague Debra Gibson helped with the organising. Other businesses provided sponsorship or offered their premises for shoots.
“It was just a bit of fun to be honest. I would show some the lads the calendar and ask if they were up for it and it just started from there really,” said Mrs Lyall.
“Some of my family were a bit shocked when I said I was going to be a model, but we have had a great response. We never thought we would get as far as we have, but the response is turning out to be really good.
“It is a bit of publicity for Coopies Lane and of course it is for a good cause to help other people.”
The 54-year-old hopes to sell around 1,500 copies of the calendar. It is available in her cafe, while businesses in Coopies Lane are taking orders.