Vets strip off in storm to raise funds for air ambulance

  • The stars of a veterinary practice’s naked charity calendar got their clothes off one more time to present the proceeds to the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.

    Mike Sheldon and Andy Hayes, equine partners at Towcester and Onley Equine Vets, selected the charity after Mike had to be airlifted with a head injury following a hunting fall eight years ago.

    Their 2016 calendar raised £4,561.06 for the air ambulance and they made a trip to Coventry airfield to present the crew with the cheque.

    “I think they were quite excited to be getting their clothes off again,” said the practice’s receptionist and marketing manager Abii Dowdy. “I went with them to do the hand over and it was horrendous weather, right in the middle of storm Angus. I was soaked and freezing and there they were naked apart from their boots.

    “We had to get all sorts of permission for them to take their clothes off in the middle of Coventry Airfield. They wanted the crew to join in as well, but they were too cold!”

    The one-off calendar was shot by Towcester-based photographer James Rudd and featured various members of the practice including vets, reception staff and nurses.

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    “We’re based on a farm here, so even the farmers and farriers joined in,” Abii added. “We’ve had a lot of funny comments from clients in the past year, saying ‘you’ll have to come here naked next time, it will make paying my pill less painful!’”

    As each air ambulance mission costs around £1700 to fly, Abii said the practice were pleased to know they could potentially have saved two to three lives.

    “Needing the air ambulance one day is one of those things you do think about when you spend time with horses,” she added.

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