HUNDREDS of people have backed a campaign to push down the age of cervical cancer screening.
Amy Pink and her clan of calendar girls took to Byron Place shopping centre in Seaham to encourage people to back a campaign to lower the age women can get tested.
To date, they have collected more than 300 signatures from those supporting their campaign.
Amy, of Barnes, said: “One of my best friend’s mum died of cervical cancer and a lot of friends have come back from testing with abnormal cells, which really hit home.
“After that, I decided I really wanted to raise awareness about the disease and I feel it’s important that the age women are tested for it is lowered, so the signs can be picked up early and lives saved.”
Amy’s plight has already seen her produce a saucy 2012 calendar – inspired by smash-hit show Calendar Girls.
She is already planning next year’s calendar, which she plans to make bigger and better than the current one.
“We produced 100 of the calendars and they all sold,” the mum-of-two said.
“Next year, we plan to produce more and I want to make it really retro and punky.”
Park Lane Cards has already agreed to sell the calendars in its stores and each of the girls has signed a contract agreeing to carry out at least one charity fund-raiser in their month.
Amy said: “When it’s their month, they have agreed to do something for charity, which is great.
“It’s nice to see the girls of Sunderland trying to do something to make a difference.”
Devoted Amy is also planning on creating a range of cherry-themed products, including badges, bracelets and earrings, to help raise awareness about cervical cancer.
All of the money raised is going to St Benedict’s Hospice.
Amy said: “We got a great response when we were collecting signatures and it seems to be something that a lot of people agree with.
“The current calendar girls have also agreed to pass them out at work and around friends, so hopefully we’ll get a lot more.”
The current age for cervical cancer screening, or smear tests, is 25.
Amy is campaigning to have the age brought down to 18.
TRAGIC Claire Walker Everett lost her battle with cervical cancer.
In 2008, the young mum, of Glebe, Washington, died aged 23, after a brave fight against the disease, which her family claim, could have been prevented had she been tested.
Parents Bob and Lynn launched a campaign to lower the screening age, collecting 15,000 signatures from people calling for the age to be dropped to 18.
They took their fight to Downing Street, but the Government refused to change the age.