Photographer Russ Hughes has announced that the Boys of Bridgend are now back in the studio working on their brand new calendar for 2016, with the brand new charity that will benefit from this year’s sales the Ben Cohen Standup Foundation.
Boys of Bridgend burst into the scene in 2014 with a debut calendar raising funds for the Everyman Appeal to help fight the battle against testicular and prostate cancer. The calendars sold in over 35 countries around the world, with sales of the calendar still ongoing.
“We’re really excited about working with this charity,” said Hughes. “We wanted to make the new calendar as interactive as possible and really get to know the people who have been supporting us and to find out their views and thoughts, so when we asked people on Twitter and Facebook for ideas about who they wanted to see us support this year, there was one name that came up over and over again, and that’s the Ben Cohen Standup Foundation to tackle bullying and homophobia. It’s a cause that really resonates with both our supporters and members of the team and the work they are doing, especially within the LGBT community is amazing. Support for us last year was overwhelming from all corners but it was the LGBT community who really got behind us and made us grow, so it’s fantastic that we can come full circle with this years calendar and give our support back to them by raising money for this cause.”
The cause is also personal for some members of the Boys Of Bridgend.
“We didn’t have anything in place like this when I was younger. I was teased for being ‘different’ and became isolated because I was scared of not being accepted. It was easier to keep quiet, but it didn’t make me happier. Youngsters are too often told to fit the norm and not to stand out or be different, so it’s great that organizations like the Standup Foundation are working so hard to tell youngsters that it’s okay to be different and that they don’t have to hide or feel scared or ashamed, and hopefully it will educate the tormentors into realizing that we’re all the same, despite our differences. We should all strive for equality,” new recruit Dan said. “Knowing that this years Boys of Bridgend calendar will have a hand in that meant that signing up to take part was a no-brainer for me.”
For the second Boys of Bridgend calendar, there are already plans to go bigger. Already, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts have been set up. There will also be a video element to the new effort.
For now, the identity of the 15 men participating in this years calendar are being kept firmly under wraps. The boys have also set up their first ever crowdfunding project and would love for people to get involved and back the project which will help cover the printing costs of the calendar.
To support the campaign, check out their Crowdfunder page at http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/
The Ben Cohen Standup Foundation was created by former international rugby star, Ben Cohen to raise awareness of the long-term, damaging effects of bullying and homophobia and to raise funds to support those doing real-world work to stop it from happening.