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Charity appeals for ‘Brave’ men to come forward for popular fundraising fashion show

Friend of Anchor's popular Brave and Courage on the Catwalk shows will return to Aberdeen in May. Picture: Colin Rennie
Friend of Anchor's popular Brave and Courage on the Catwalk shows will return to Aberdeen in May. Picture: Colin Rennie

A fashion show with a difference will return to Aberdeen this May – and there’s still time to sign up as a model.

Friend of Anchor’s hugely popular Courage on the Catwalk and Brave shows will return to the Beach Ballroom in May, after a two-year hiatus due to Covid.

The shows feature local people who have faced or are going through a cancer or haematology diagnosis, and has raised more than £1million since its inception.

And while the ladies selected for the 2020 show before it was cancelled are raring to go, the charity is looking for some more men to take part.

Charity director Sarah-Jane Hogg said: “We’re really grateful to see things in a place where we can proceed with these much-loved shows that have been a huge miss in our event calendar this past couple of years.

“This year’s model line-up will include some incredibly patient local men and women, whose place in the shows has been reserved since early 2020, before the pandemic brought the plans to a sudden halt. We’ve stayed in touch with our selected models over the past two years, and now their friends and family will finally get to see them shine on the stage.”

Some of the models on the catwalk at the 2019 Brave show at Aberdeen Beach Ballroom. Picture: Colin Rennie

Fundraising, fashion and friendship

Brave will take place at The Beach Ballroom on the evenings of May 5 and 6, followed by Courage on the Catwalk on May 7 and 8.

Tickets for Courage on the Catwalk go on sale on Thursday and are expected to be snapped up quickly.

A waiting list system is being trialled for Brave to allow organisers time to recruit some extra models.

Mrs Hogg added: “With the Courage schedule starting earlier in the year, our ladies had the chance to meet several times before the pandemic, with even the first official rehearsal in the bag. The bond that was made before Covid-19 hit has seen them support one another and grow great friendships already over these last two years.

“For our Brave guys, their experience was cut before it even began, with the first meet cancelled in the final hour when the first lockdown was announced. Many of the men who came on board back in early 2020 have chosen to make their model debut this year, but there are spaces now open for others to join them in the line-up for 2022.”

Former Brave model Mark Collie is encouraging other men to sign up for the show, and says it is an unforgettable experience. Supplied by Friends of Anchor.

‘Brave was a brilliant experience’

Friends of Anchor is looking for men over the age of 16, who have faced or are going through a diagnosis, to come forward.

They will be professionally styled and trained by production and model agency Premiere Productions UK.

Mark Collie, from Mintlaw, who took part in the 2019 edition of Brave, encouraged others to take to the catwalk.

“Brave was a brilliant experience but it’s not just the show days themselves that stand out,” he said. “The Brave 2019 guys formed an amazing bond of friendship that’s still strong to this day. We keep in touch, we’re there for one another and we’re looking forward to a reunion at this year’s Brave when we’ll be able to cheer on the 2022 guys.

“The feeling of confidence you get from going out there on the stage is excellent, and throughout the rehearsals and meeting you can see the people around you becoming visibly more confident week by week. There’s a lot of fun in the whole event and it’s really rewarding.”

Money raised at this year’s shows will go towards the Anchored Together appeal, which is aiming to raise £2million to boost treatment at the new Anchor Centre due to open in Aberdeen next year.

To apply to take part in Brave, or to nominate someone, call 01224 859170 or e-mail info@friendsofanchor.org

Applications close on February 25.

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