Exeter Marrow’s naked calendar is here and you don’t want to miss it

Featuring rugby, football, snowsports, lacrosse, surf and shooting (and their bums)

Exeter Marrow are back with their infamous naked calendars. Featuring a multitude of AU societies such as rugby, football, snowsports, lacrosse, surf, and shooting (and their bums), 2022’s edition is arguably one of the best so far.

Exeter Marrow are the student-led branch of the Anthony Nolan charity who work to find lifesaving stem cell matches for those suffering with blood cancers such as leukaemia. Someone new is diagnosed with a blood cancer every 14 minutes, so the work they do raising money and awareness for the charity is super important.

We spoke to Isabell, fundraising sec of Exeter Marrow who took a majority of the photos: “Shooting the naked calendar this year has been so much fun! Every photo I took I thought that there was no way the next one could get any better but every society came up with innovative and fun ways to use their kit to really make the photos absolutely amazing.”
“Everyone was such a pleasure to work with, so fun and positive even in awful weather conditions or when local cyclists got an eye full; or in one case when a dog on the beach got a bit too close! You would think it would be an awkward experience shooting over 100 people completely naked, but I don’t think it was even for a second.”

“Though it was tough getting such busy uni students with sports and academic achievements all together at one time, I think it’s amazing that we managed it for such a great cause.”

“But as well as raising money, we are also trying to raise awareness between societies and amongst the desired stem-cell donor demographic of fit and healthy 16-30 year olds.”

“There are currently not enough boys on the stem cell register, so we’re calling for all boys in particular to sign up! Men create around 70% of successful donations, yet only make up around 17% of the register – we’re wanting to change that. And will a majority of calendar participants being boys, we hope this fundraiser will also have a positive effect on our sign ups.”

We also spoke to Katie, one of the lead organisers of the naked calendar: “Last year gave us an opportunity to create a fantastic calendar during very tricky times; it raised over £500, so we we knew this year with relaxed COVID restrictions we could have a little more fun with it.

“Every society has been so generous and helpful in the creation of this calendar, and with every photo you can tell how much fun went into it. Our fundraising sec travelled all around Exeter to get these shots so hopefully everyone enjoys them as much as we do.”

“From the crumb at 7pm to Exmouth at 7am, Isabell has put an amazing amount of effort into this project. Of course, some shoots we more logistically difficult than others, getting your bums out on a public beach and actually playing rugby completely naked was never what we foresaw, but whatever works I guess.”

“In-person events being brought back has also made a massive difference for us as a society. In the first 2 weeks of the Christmas term, we had successfully raised £1,400 and managed to add 150 Exeter students onto the stem cell register.”

“We’ve been able to hold volunteer training sessions, where we train up those willing to volunteer with us – teaching them all the relevant info and why the work is so important. This work also aims to help people in Exeter. There is a young boy named Alfie, based in Exeter who is in urgent need of a mixed-race donor. Alfie was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia, a rare and very serious condition that occurs when your body stops producing enough new blood cells. Alfie depends on weekly blood transfusions; however, the doctors have said he is in need of a stem cell transplant from a matching donor.”

If you think you may be a match or are just wanting to join the register yourself to help people like Alfie, our special Exeter sign up link is www.anthonynolan.org/exetermarrow. It takes 5 minutes, and could genuinely save a life.

The calendars are £10 for one, or two for £16 (they make perfect Christmas presents!) and these profits all go to fund the lifesaving work of Anthony Nolan. You can order yours here.