A GROUP of villagers have been striking a pose in a bid to raise money to support Basingstoke hospital.

Known as the Loddon Lillies, the group of nearly 20 women decided to, after a “drunken conversation”, put together a charity calendar to raise money for the Wessex Ward.

The Wessex Ward and Basing Unit at the hospital are where patients diagnosed with cancer have chemotherapy as either an inpatient or outpatient.

Sherfield-on-Loddon resident Jane Toomey had an idea to bring women together and realised they had an opportunity to have an impact in the lives of all that are affected with blood cancer.

Inspired by the story of Calendar Girls, the Loddon Lilles decided to make their own calendar to raise money for charity.

Lyndsey Holden, one of the Loddon Lillies, said: “One of the girls is a keen photographer and said she would give up her time and take all the photos.

“So everyone involved decided to come up with different themes and then selected a month that they wanted to represent.

“We’ve got ladies in fields, one lady posed with a horse, another woman is celebrating her 50th birthday this year so she wanted a party theme and my mum, who is a pub landlady, posed for hers behind the bar.”

The calendar ends with a Christmassy group shot of all the ladies involved in the project for the month of December.

Lyndsey added: “Every single lady involved felt strongly enough about this type of project and jumped at the opportunity to give something back.”

The Wessex Ward is seeking money for new equipment which will aid consultants with a new technique of bone marrow transplant.

This consists of a patient having their own marrow harvested which is then stored and given back to them after bouts of chemotherapy. The advantage is there is less risk of the body rejecting its own bone marrow.

The Loddon Lillies have sent their calendar off to be published and are hoping to have the final product available to sell at the Sherfield Fete on June 8.

To keep up to date with what the Loddon Lillies or to purchase a calendar, go to