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Lara Adamson has published 17 articles

Students strip off for charity calendar

Oxford volunteer group TravelAid have published a naked calendar.
Lara Adamson on Thursday 4th June 2009
Photograph: Catherine Little

Oxford-based student charity TravelAid has produced a naked calendar with the aim of raising money for projects in the developing world.

Oxford Undressed features shots of naked students with their modesty preserved by typical Oxonian adornments such as books and mortar boards.

The calendar features classic images such as punting on the Cherwell, string quartet in the Holywell music room and trashing on New College Lane, and will be on sale for £10.

Catherine Little, the charity coordinator said, "TravelAid is expanding both in the developing world and out to different universities across the UK, and this calendar is part of our fund-raising ethic which promotes development through enterprise." The initiative follows a similar calendar that raised over £2000 to buy a school bus in Nepal two years ago.

A second-year student at Trinity who participated in the calendar recounted, "Doing the calendar shots was quite a giggle; never before (and never again, I expect) had I sat naked in a punt at 5.30 am in the rain! I'm going to spend the summer vacation teaching in rural China."

One Hertford student, who has previously posed for a naked calendar added, "What an excellent cause - you get to help a charity and support people by stripping off at the same time. Win win."

Recent years have seen a number of naked calendars produced in Oxford. In 2006, St Catz undergraduates stripped for a calendar in memory of a student killed in a cycling accident; in the same year members of St Anne's, including porters, bared all in aid of the homeless.

Naked calendars have not always been greeted with a warm reception, illustrated in 2003 when ten LMH students were given a dressing-down for posing naked in the fellows' garden without permission.

Portia Roelefs, OUSU's part-time women's officer, commented positively on the charity's efforts. She said, "Whilst I personally cannot imagine actually choosing to hang it on my wall, I admire the creativity of Travelaid's fund-raising."

TravelAid partners with local charities and communities to alleviate poverty and build social capacity in the developing world.

Students are offered the opportunity to travel to project destinations during the summer, including China, Ecuador, India, Kenya and Nepal.

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