Brave women spell it out for Rosie

Stroud News and Journal: Among those stripping off were (l-r) Liz Weafer, Kara Westerman-Childs, Abby Ferkin and Sarah Standing Among those stripping off were (l-r) Liz Weafer, Kara Westerman-Childs, Abby Ferkin and Sarah Standing

ONE hundred daring women stripped off at a secret location in Stroud on Saturday to help raise funds for Rosie Morris.

The feisty volunteers braved the cold and rain in an Uplands field to spell out the word 'autism' for the front page of a risque calender.

Rosie's mum Kara Westermann-Childs, from Folly Lane, Stroud, organised the stunt to help raise money to pay for the six-year-old to attend a special educational program in America.

The brave women were a little coy at first but before long they were baring all for a photographer who flew overhead in a helicopter.

Sue Cox, 40, and Pat Britton, 60, both from Rodborough, said they thoroughly enjoyed themselves despite the nerves.

"I've never even been topless on the beach," said Pat.

"It was easy to say yes to it at the time but as they day approached we got really nervous - I'm so glad we did it though."

Nicola Clifford, 32, a nurse from Stonehouse, said she was surprised by how at ease she felt.

"I was really relaxed," she said.

"I've got children myself and if I ever needed help I would really appreciate those who came forward."

Amy Freeman, 43, an artist from Cheltenham, said it was a really well organised event.

"It was so well planned - from parking to getting the map two days before to make sure it was private.

"Well done to Kara for actually doing something and not just feeling sorry for herself."

Kara, who appears in the black and white calender with her four friends Goldy Manzi-Fe, Emma Hanaway, Bonnie Cicuttin and Ele Richardson, is printing 3,000 copies, which will be sold for £10 each.

"It went amazingly well," she said.

"It was a wonderful feeling to know that all these women, all different shapes, sizes and ages, were lying there for Rosie.

"There were lots of different motivations for doing it - one woman said she wanted to do something outrageous before she turned 50, and others had family members with special needs.

"Everything has just come together and I feel really lucky - I just hope that everyone will get excited about it and buy the calender.

"If we sell them all we will raise enough to pay for Rosie's education for the next two years."

Kara's efforts are being helped by the SNJ's Rosie Morris Growing Minds Appeal, launched two months ago.

To buy the calender or make a donation visit www.chanceforrosie.org.uk.

*SNJ reporters Abby Ferkin and Liz Weafer and photographer Sarah Standing were among the courageous women who left little to the imagination. Here is their account of the day.

AFTER exchanging clothes for little towels in Sarah's car, all three of us trouped down to a field in Uplands, giggling like schoolgirls all the way.

Volunteers were divided into groups according to their size, and we joined the vertically challenged group.

"We were all part of the U," said Liz.

"When we chucked our towels aside we all felt so self-conscious and I didn't really know where to look.

"But pretty soon we were chatting and laughing and telling the Channel 5 cameraman - the only man there - to strip off and join us.

"There was a great atmosphere and everyone was so brave - now I know how naturists feel."

"I thought at was fantastic how everyone came together," said Abby.

"I felt very liberated - we were sitting in a field completely naked but we didn't care what we looked like because it was for a good cause.

"I spent the rest of the day smiling because it was such an enjoyable morning.

"To be honest I wasn't nervous on the day but I was nervous about seeing the final photo."

"I would definitely do it again," said Sarah.

"There were a couple of really funny moments, like when we all got into position for a helicopter flying over that wasn't even ours.

"I felt uncomfortable at first but after a while it felt natural.

"Rosie is a beautiful girl and I feel happy to have helped give her a chance, I just hope everyone buys a calender."

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