FINDING gifts for certain people at Christmas can be testing at the best of times, and during what’s been a thoroughly depressing 2020, you may be lacking even more inspiration than usual.

So, with most of us looking to raise a smile and spread more joy than usual throughout this festive period, why not go with a gift that’s a little on the loony side? Monster Raving Loony side, to be precise.

Earlier this year, Bernice Benton, a member of the Official Monster Raving Loony party, and known for her election campaigning as Lady Lily the Pink, got together with friends from Llanwrtyd Wells to raise a smile as the coronavirus pandemic and the panic and concern of lockdown gripped the UK.

They organised their own nude calendar to raise funds for mental health charity the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation, as a way of keeping their spirits up through the uncertainty, as well as a way to deal with their own demons.

They’ve so far raised over £700 and sold well over 100 calendars and Bernice has now ordered another 50 – so why not dress up someone’s Christmas with a calendar featuring people in various states of undress?

“It would make a great stocking filler,” said Bernice.

“So far, the 24 calendar girls and boys, many local, others fellow Loony Party Members, have raised over £700 for mental health charity the BDD Foundation.

“The project has been so well received that I've had to get more calendars printed. I only thought we'd sell a few dozen but so far we've sold well over 100.”

County Times:

In May, Bernice, or Lady Lily, decided she needed a crazy project to distract people from lockdown. She started recreating art with things around her home. 'Reverie' by revered pop artist Roy Liechtenstein and Duane Bryers’ famed unconventional pinup girl 'Hilda' were revised for World Naked Gardening Day on May 2 and this led to another idea after house-bound friend Barabara Thomas, from Llangammarch Wells, took to her garden and shed her clothes to celebrate the international event.

With people suffering mentally not seeing friends and family and living under a series of restrictions on their usual lives, the Calendar Girls-themed idea was born, spreading a message of body positivity.

“It's been a tough year for everyone,” said Bernice.

“Mental health is really being tested and people are struggling. One of the 'models', Amber Russell, said that if she'd been asked to do it now there would be no way. But in May the world felt like it was ending and we were going to die, so she had nothing to lose.

“Many of those who participated expressed feeling proud, empowered and liberated. Each photo is staged by the individuals, some are selfies, some taken by their partner – Barbara had to ask the postie if he would help as she was on her own! Each is accompanied by their own story.

“The message is one of body positivity, community and overcoming adversity.”

If anyone would like to order a calendar, they can email Bernice/Lady Lily at The calendars cost £10 plus postage and are also available at various outlets in Llanwrtyd, including Caffi Sosban, Cupboards and Cakes, Shades of Green and the Neuadd Arms Hotel.

You can also make a donation to the charity via their Go Fund Me page: