Magherafelt woman hits out at ‘prudish response’ to charity naked calendar

Deb, Victoria and Angela- We Slim Together Calendar for NICHS
Deb, Victoria and Angela- We Slim Together Calendar for NICHS

A Magherafelt woman, who posed for a calendar to raise money for charity, said she is ‘shocked’ that some shops are refusing to sell it, despite it receiving the backing of jockey Tony McCoy.

Roberta Stewart was one of a number of women, who ‘dared to bare’ for the calendar in an effort to stop obesity among young people.

Like similar campaigns, the calendar consists of tasteful photographs, which are not explicit.

Mrs Stewart hopes that the shops will have a change of heart and help their campaign to raise £50,000 for Northern Ireland, Chest, Heart and Stroke (NICHS).

The twenty-four members from Randalstown founded slimming group, ‘We Slim Together’ shed more than just lbs for charity, want to help fund NICHS school programme, where they teach children on how to stay healthy and avoid obesity.

When jokingly the idea of a naked calendar was suggested, Mrs Stewart thought, “no way, I could never to that.”

But the more she thought about it, the more she realised how many people suffer from not only, obesity related issues but illnesses which NICHS helps with.

“My own father died with heart issues and my step-father had a stroke a few years ago, but is thankfully still with us. I wouldn’t wish anyone to go through that.”

The mum of three, is shocked at the reaction to the calendar, as “it’s for a great cause, which affects many people.”

“When it’s for a charity, I thought people would completely get behind the calendar. I’m amazed people are having such issues with it, when shops sell way worse on a daily basis.”

Roberta went on to tell the MAIL, what her family and friends thought.

“I had many discussions with my husband and children. If they had of, had any issues with me stripping off for charity, I wouldn’t have done it. But they didn’t, they were very encouraging. They knew I really wanted to do it, so they supported me completely.

“At the end of the day, their’s are the only opinion s that matter to me and they think I look fantastic and compliment how tastefully done the calendar is!”

“What’s even more baffling is, most of our sales are from people overseas, as far as Canada. It’s just Northern Ireland, that seems behind the times.”

The 23 members, along with Mrs Stewart, who took part in the photo shoot, had lost 66 stone in total between them.

On the day of the shoot, they had a “How to Look Good Naked” style makeover, before being elegantly placed in front of the camera for the photographer, Michael McKay.

The ladies were really given the royalty treatment, with one of the make-up artists, Joanne McNaughton, being part of the make-up team for the cast of Game of Thrones.

It was a confidence boosting, life experience, none of the stunning ladies will forget.

When the MAIL approached a number of businesses in Cookstown, to see if they would consider selling the calendar, the response was mixed.

Businesses would not sell the calendar, not because they had an issue with the content but because it “wouldn’t go with what we sell in the shop.”

One business owner said, that they would have no issues buying the calendar on a personal level, with another saying that it wouldn’t be something that they are interested in buying.

If you are interested in either buying the calendar, go to or selling it, call Sonya, We Slim Together’s founder, on 07544546355.