A BRAND new charity calendar has caught the imagination of people in Cirencester thanks to the power of Facebook and the determination of the Countess Bathurst.

The Cirencester charity calendar, which was created thanks to an idea by Lady Bathurst, was finally printed a few weeks ago and has already sold half of its 1’000 initial print run and is on track to raise £10,000 for charity.

“For many years I’ve wanted to produce a calendar for charity using photographs I’ve taken of our family estate but have never found the time to put it together,” Lady Bathurst said.

It was after she joined the popular Facebook group, Cirencester a Local Town for Local People, that she realised she could involve the local community, as she saw locals uploading stunning photographs they have taken in and around the area, as well as the Bathurst Estate.

“When I joined the local Facebook Page I saw all the wonderful photographs taken by the community and realised there was an unending supply of talent from which I could make the ultimate local publication.

“More than 100 people submitted photos,” she said. “It has really brought the community together. We had such a lot of choice.”

In a lovely touch the Facebook community were also asked to choose three local charities who would receive a share of the money raised, with Shine Cirencester, Oak and Furrows and Cirencester Open Air Swimming Pool all set to enjoy the proceeds.

Members of the group also chose the front cover of the calendar.

Keeping it local has been important to Lady Bathurst, and Adam Vines of Lounge Design quickly came on board to support the project, helping to create the calendar, followed by Jered Bolton who designed a website to drive sales and Kevin Hutchings of Busy Fingers, a local printer who produced everything at cost.

Paul Skuse, founder of Cirencester a Local Town for Local People, said: "I am humbled to be part of this brilliant idea by Lady B. The members of our Facebook group, Cirencester a local town for local people have been pivotal to its success and I would like to thank everybody involved for helping towards the money raised for the local charities."

This assistance, coupled with sponsorship of local companies has made this a true community effort.

Local businesses have been quick to ask to stock the calendar and copies have also been sent as far afield as Argentina, Iran and Indonesia.

“I am so glad that we did this. I love to support our wonderful local town. I think we will definitely do it again.”

*The Countess Bathurst’s Charity Calendar will be on sale at this weekend’s Farmer’s Market on November 10 in Cirencester 9am to 1pm.

* Visit cirencestercalendar.co.uk from Thursday to buy the calendar online (£7.50 plus shipping).