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Hannah Ray – marketing and sponsorship coordinator for RAG

The 2012-2013 LEEDS RAG Naked Calendar is currently on sale!

Featuring twelve of your favourite clubs and societies getting their kit off, including: LUU Surf Club, LUU Celtics Cheerleaders, LUU Men’s Cricket Club and LUU LGBT Society, this calendar promises to be an exciting addition to any room! Each month features a photo of a different group, and some of the key dates of the Leeds Uni Calendar (which you definitely won’t want to forget), such as the RAG Safer Sex Ball and Re-Freshers week next January.

The proceeds of this raunchy calendar go towards the RAG Community Fund, which is a collection of funds from various RAG events throughout the academic year. The fund provides donations to successful applicants, which include international and national charities, however, RAG prides itself on also focusing on local and smaller charities in Leeds. Some of these charities last year included the Aid for Nepali Children, the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust and the Leeds Space Network. In 2011-2012 over £23,000 was raised for the Community Fund!

Hannah Ray and Amar Shanghavi took lead roles in organising the RAG naked calendar whilst working alongside RAGs graphic designers Katie Martin, Chloe Sharp and independent photographer Ben Cumming. We sat down and spoke to Hannah Ray, RAG’s marketing and sponsorship coordinator to talk about what was behind the making of the Leeds RAG naked calendar 2012.

Firstly, what made you want to take an active role in Leeds RAG?
I wanted to exercise my organisation skills and I enjoy working alongside like-minded people progressing towards one common goal. Being part of Leeds RAG enables me to take part everyday in activities that I wouldn’t generally get the opportunity to do.

Was the making of the RAG calendar a stressful experience?
Although the actual making of the calendar was extremely enjoyable, organising all the societies to come together at various times and venues proved to be quite difficult.

Do you have a target number of calendar sales you would ideally like to make?
Around 500.

From your own experience, would you say that being involved in the calendar was particularly nerve-racking?
Not really, I had far much too fun making it to think about being nervous!

What was the best part about making the calendar?
Seeing the final product and watching all the societies have a great time whilst creating something worthwhile.

Generally, how did the participants react when it came down to stripping in front of the camera?
Certain societies, for example Men’s hockey, were extremely keen to get their kit off! Some were slightly more reluctant, however in general everyone who took part was up for stripping in aid of the charities.

If you had to choose, which society did you have the most fun working with?
It would probably have to be the Surf club because the shoot took place in the Roger Stevens fountain.

Did anything surprise you whilst creating the calendar?
I was quite shocked about how willing students were to get naked in public if it’s for a good cause!

Would you do anything differently if you were making the calendar again?
Probably include more girls in the society, so it appealed more to the guys as well!

And finally, hottest society?
For me, it would definitely have to be Men’s cricket!

LEEDS RAG is also involved in various other projects and activities, which help raise money for charity. Events include nights out such as the Fashion Show, Safer Sex Ball and even hitches across Europe. Jailbreak is always a favourite of many students (basically getting as far as way from Leeds as possible in 36 hours with only your powers of persuasion), or for the more fearless, challenges including Everest Base Camp and the Kilimanjaro Climb. Membership is only £12, which includes a RAG t-shirt.

All of the RAG committee members and the daring naked participants involved have worked extremely hard in their efforts to create a fantastic calendar for everyone to enjoy and to help raise money for the Community Fund. Help support their efforts and buy a calendar for only £5, or two for £8, in the RAG office in the Leeds University Union building! Calendars may also be on sale opposite Essentials in the Union so look out for any stalls! Despite how fantastic the calendar looks, RAG is still looking to boost their sales and raise as much as possible so dig deep!

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