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Some like it hotter as Dames put on glitter

PUBLISHED: 15:05 18 November 2009 | UPDATED: 10:11 12 August 2010

Downe Dames Calendar 2009
Barbara Stevens as Miss July
Picture by: Simon Hildrew

Downe Dames Calendar 2009 Barbara Stevens as Miss July Picture by: Simon Hildrew

WOMEN featured on a saucy calendar are promising poses that will be even more sizzling for their next project. Downe Dames leader Barbara Stevens,

WOMEN featured on a saucy calendar are promising poses that will be even more sizzling for their next project.

Downe Dames leader Barbara Stevens, of West Hill, revealed that they are to crank the heat up to searing, oven-baked temperatures to raise money for stroke services charity ICARE, based in Green Street Green.

Spurred by an 84-year-old woman who said the group's poses were "not fruity enough", the models aim to put that right with their calendar for 2011.

The 2009 calendar, featuring women in intricate body paint, has raised more than £7,000 for Demelza children's hospice unit in Eltham. It took more than four hours to paint each brave model. Even photographer Simon Hildrew joined in, making a convincing Spiderman. Mrs Stevens, aka Miss July, has sold hundreds of the calendars at her public talks, on subjects ranging in scope from Charles and Emma Darwin to Italian extra virgin oil.

She said: "A lovely lady came up to me, 84 years old, and said: 'I love your body painting but there's not enough nudity.' So it's time to go back to basics and cover up with just a few lavender twigs. This next one is going to be a little provocative but glamorous.

"I don't want to give too much away because I don't want anyone pinching the idea, but there is going to be glitter and feathers."

ICARE - Independent Care and Rehabilitation Enterprise, based in High Street - was set up 24 years ago to help stroke victims of all ages make the arduous road back to recovery.

It provides services each day, offering physiotherapy and speech therapy to people who have been through the NHS system and are in need of further help.

Centre coordinator Pat George said: "Recovery from a stroke can be a long process. It's a common misconception that it only affects older people. Our youngest client is only 29.

"What the Downe Dames are doing is absolutely brilliant as our therapists are paid for by public donations. Money from their next calendar will go towards a speech therapist, current funding for which is set to run out in a year's time."

The 2009 calendar, featuring beautiful body paint artwork, is still available to buy. Mrs Stevens added: "People have been buying them purely for the body painting. If you have a space in your garage or hole in your shed that needs covering up they are perfect."

Downe Dames raised £23,000 for Demelza from their 2007 calendar. To buy a 2009 calendar, call Barbara Stevens on 01689 856114.

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