Just One Look: heads turned for charity

A saucy seaside calendar is the latest part of a cancer survivor’s drive to raise awareness of the illness.

Mark Meakings, 64, of Sandhurst Lane, Whydown, was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 2009 and has since lead several campaigns to get people talking about the disease.

Now, following a three-year project to organise volunteers and dodge bad weather, Mark is about to launch a calendar showcasing local beauty spots.

“I’m so excited at how good it looks,” Mark said. “I’ve wanted for ages to make a calendar that put a smile on people’s faces to balance the horrible nature of Prostate Cancer. Now we’ve done that.”

The 2015 calendar is called Just One Look, as each month features a shot of near disasters caused by men sneaking a quick peak at a passing beauty.

Hastings photographer Tim Dale volunteered his services for the shots, which were all taken on Bexhill seafront around the De La Warr Pavilion. Regular users of the pavilion may spot cafe staff moonlighting in tartan skirts.

Mark’s charity work is driven by his own experience of a late diagnosis. His treatment worked, but an earlier check-up would have greatly improved his prognosis.

“After the operation I was lucky to survive,” he said. “I’ve lost a friend to Prostate Cancer, mainly through ignorance - I’ve a brother who has it, too.

“Guys are reluctant to go to a doctor with their symptoms - we need to be far more aware of this.”

Since 2009 Mark and his wife Christine have organised fun-runs, hosted breakfasts, and arranged music parties all to raise money for cancer charities.

Mark Bishop, fundraising director at Prostate Cancer UK, said he was “delighted” the calendar was ready for launch.

Their calendar will be launched at the De La Warr Pavilion on Sunday, August 3, with live music between 11am-3pm from local band Loose Ends. High-quality print, in A3 format, each calendar will sell for £9.95, with all proceeds going to Prostate Cancer UK.

Those interested can pick up copies at the De La Warr at the launch and afterwards, or pre-order online at: www.prostatecancercalendar.org.