Naughty Knitters calendar raises more than a smile for Swanage charity

A huge cheque for £11,000 was handed over to a local dementia charity by the Naughty Knitters of Swanage, following the sell-out success of their saucy 2020 calendar.

The naughty but nice photoshoot depicted the knitters with little more than their artfully draped knitting to save their blushes.

The idea was first conceived by one of the knitters, Cheryle Leach back in December 2018 and the idea took off from there.

Naughty Knitters hand over cheque to dementia charity
Karen Grant

A cheque was handed over from the Naughty Knitters to the chair of Swanage area Dementia Friends, Mike Bonfield

Cheeky Christmas snap

Once they had posed for a cheeky Christmas snap, taken by local photographer Julian Sawyer, the team then went on to create images for the other months of the year.

Once completed, the calendar went on sale at the Swanage Fish Festival in 2019 and attracted a lot of media attention including the BBC, who filmed the Naughty Knitters posing on the seafront.

Naughty Knitters filmed by BBC
Naughty Knitters

The Naughty Knitters being filmed by the BBC

“Everyone in Swanage got behind the idea

Swanage resident, Cheryle Leach from the Naughty Knitters said:

“Well we had no idea in 2019 what a year 2020 would turn out to be! I always wanted to raise at least £10,000 and it was great that everyone in Swanage got behind the idea.

“A year later and I don’t think we would have been able to raise the same amount!”

About £8,500 was raised by the calendar and Christmas card sales and that was then boosted to £10,225.52 with knitting sales and other events.

By the time the cheque was handed over at an afternoon tea party at the Swanage Conservative Club on Tuesday 19th October 2021, the total amount had hit an impressive £11,000.

Naughty knitters cheque
Karen Grant
Naughty knitters calendar
Naughty knitters

The calendar and cheeky Christmas card

“It’s a really good cause

All the money is going to the Swanage area Dementia Friends, a charity that assists those living with dementia and their families.

It will go to help fund the buddy scheme, when volunteers spend time with someone living with dementia to give their carers a break.

Cheryle is also a volunteer buddy. She added:

“It’s a really good cause. Many carers are elderly themselves and it’s important we give them some help and respite.

“I’m really pleased that we’ve achieved so much for a small community. It was a real Swanage project from the knitters to the photographers – the calendar was even printed in Swanage!

Ukelele band at Naughty Knitters event
Karen Grant

The money raised was handed over to the charity at an afternoon tea party with entertainment from the ukulele band and Swanage singer, Karen Grant

“A massive thank you

The chair of Swanage area Dementia Friends, Mike Bonfield said:

“I would like to say a massive thank you to Cheryle and her wonderful group of knitters. But I must also thank all of the kind people that purchased calendars and Christmas cards to raise such a fantastic amount during the trying times that we have gone through over the last 18 months.

“Swanage area Dementia Friends greatly appreciate all the work done to support us.”

Naughty knitters calendar
Naughty knitters

“Always open to new members

The Naughty Knitters of Swanage meet 10 am to 12 noon on Tuesday mornings at the Swanage Conservative Club on the corner of Kings Road East and Kings Road West.

Cheryle said:

“We’re very friendly and are always open to new members – not just women, men are welcome too.

“Anyone interested in joining us should just pop in and say hello. You can knit but also just have a coffee and a chat!”

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