Suffolk staff strip for charity calendar

Following the passing of our much-loved colleague, Paramedic Gary Smithen, earlier this year, his team wanted to remember him and raise money for his chosen charities. So, in true unique east Suffolk fashion, they decided to ditch their uniforms and bare all for a calendar – over to Matt Arkle for more…

“As a team we wanted to remember Gary's name in a positive way. A few ideas were banded around but none taken further than the banter of the crew room. But back in March, following a dreary night shift, I was walking through the station when the idea of a naked calendar came up. I never thought it would go further than the other barmy ideas that had been spoken about… but like many things, the more people that heard about it, the bigger it became.

“So I sent an email to all east Suffolk colleagues asking who would be interested to participate. I had well over 60 replies within two days!

“At the core of everything we've been working on has been Gary. He wanted to ensure that others who went through similar illnesses would receive not only the same treatment, but better. He nominated two charities that he wanted family, friends and colleagues to donate to; St Elizabeth Hospice and Woolverstone Macmillan Centre, where Gary spent precious time. We want to make sure that we spread the word about this calendar and spread the word that we're standing up to cancer!”

The calendar will be officially launched tomorrow (14th October) at an event in Ipswich attended by MP for central Suffolk and north Ipswich, Dr Dan Poulter and our Interim Deputy Director of Strategy and Sustainability, Matt Broad, and colleagues are also welcome to join the crowd for the official ‘unveiling’!

If you’d like to support the cause and get a copy of the calendar, it will be available for a minimum donation of £7 cash and can also be purchased for £9.99 online on eBay – just click here. Loveone, an arts and crafts shop at St Peters Street in Ipswich, will also be stocking it.

Published 13th October, 2016

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