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Bridlington Veterans Coffee Group ‘Go Commando’ and Raise Funds for Parkinson's UK

A group of Bridlington Veterans who got their kit off for a a fundraising calendar will be handing over a cheque to Parkinson's UK today.

Members of the Bridlington Veterans Coffee Morning group posed naked for the calendar as Mike Rubery and the veterans explain...

The plucky members of the Bridlington Veterans Coffee Morning group have raised just over £9000 for Parkinson's UK after they posed naked for the fundraising calendar.

The group were inspired to undress as two of them are living with the neurological condition.

Mr October - Mike Rubery, and Mr December - Ray Francis MBE, say they were delighted with the amount raised after selling a thousand copies.

Around 153,000 people in the UK have Parkinson’s, including 11,000 across Yorkshire and the Humber. Parkinson's UK is the leading charity supporting those with the condition. Its mission is to find a cure and improve life for everyone affected by Parkinson's through pioneering research, information, support and campaigning.

The veterans say they have had a great response to the calendar which has helped raise both funds and awareness.

The team say that bearing all for charity was a bit daunting.

Mike Rubery, the group’s Mr October, shared the thinking behind ‘Privates on Parade’:

“The calendar was my wife’s idea and as two of our members – Ray Francis MBE and Roy Muckart –  have Parkinson’s, we decided Parkinson’s UK was a charity we’d like to support.

“Some of the veterans were really keen, some overly so. None more so than Ray, who served with the Royal Signals for 23 years. He was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s and posed as Mr December to prove that although it can be debilitating, you can still be an active part of the community.

“Things shaped up quickly. The fun and laughter we had planning the shots was worth the effort alone. Funding from local businesses and support from the community has been phenomenal, too. We hope everyone enjoys having a giggle at our exploits.”

Ray Francis MBE, said:

“The veterans clubs have given me a reason to get up in the morning and something to look forward to each week. I fully recommend any veteran to come to the coffee mornings and the breakfast club. It’s great banter and you make lots of new friends.”

The photographs were taken by Ian Ellis at the Victoria Mill Tea Rooms in Bridlington. Owners Maxine and Russ support the group every Thursday and throughout the year.

The team are now making plans for their next fundraising venture which they say will involve wearing clothes.

Parkinson’s is what happens when the brain cells that make dopamine start to die. There are more than 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety. Some are treatable, but the drugs can have serious side effects. It gets worse over time and there’s no cure. Yet.

Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world. Around 153,000 people in the UK have Parkinson’s.


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