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Courage on the Catwalk reveals its north-east models

By David Porter

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The line-up for this year’s Courage on the Catwalk has been revealed as Friends of ANCHOR’s flagship fashion show marks its 10th anniversary in May.

All 24 women have at some point faced a cancer or haematology diagnosis, whether they are still receiving treatment, living with their diagnosis or sharing their story of hope from receiving the all-clear.

The Courage on the Catwalk line-up for 2024
The Courage on the Catwalk line-up for 2024

The models are aged from 18 to 77 and come from the likes of Meikle Wartle, near Inverurie, Strichen and Memsie, both near Fraserburgh, Ellon, Stonehaven and Aberdeen.

They have now met for the first time, filling P&J Live with a buzz of excitement as they began swapping stories and hearing what’s in store in the coming months.

Eileen Mann, from Stonehaven, decided to apply after being inspired by friend Kerry Smith who took part in 2019.

The 54-year-old was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just before Christmas 2022, and has since been setting herself mini goals and challenges.

One of these challenges was applying for Courage on the Catwalk, and now Mrs Mann can’t wait for rehearsals to start.

“My friend Kerry did Courage in 2019, and was a huge inspiration,” the mother-of-two said. “I saw how it helped her by letting her get to know people going through the same thing.

“I don’t think people fully understand what it’s like to be living with cancer unless they’re going through it too.

“For me, meeting people is the most important part of this experience.”

Mrs Mann, who is married to Ally and mum to Rachel and Steven, also hopes to pick up some tips for her daughter’s upcoming wedding in July. Rachel and other family members took part in the Yorkshire Marathon last year, raising more than £11,500 for Friends of ANCHOR.

Mrs Mann added: “A cancer diagnosis changes everything – it effects not just you, but your whole family and friendship circle. It stopped me from going back to work which I’ve sorely missed. But cancer has also opened up new avenues, like Courage on the Catwalk. It makes you appreciate life more.”

A record number of women applied to take part in this year’s shows, with the selection panel taking more than eight hours to pick a diverse line-up representing different cancer types and women of all ages, from right across the north-east.

Sarah-Jane Hogg, chief executive at Friends of ANCHOR, said: “It’s always a hard decision selecting the final line-up, as every application has been filled out with great courage and each applicant is deserving of a spot.

“It’s always a pleasure to meet the Courage on the Catwalk models for the first time, as we know what a special time they’re going to have – forming friendships over the course of all the rehearsals and social gatherings, and making unforgettable memories along the way.

“It’s surreal to think this is our 10 th anniversary year, and can’t wait to cheer our ladies on as we edge closer to show day.”

The models will make their catwalk debut at P&J Live on May 18 and 19, in front of a sell-out crowd of 750 people at each of the two shows.

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

Courage on the Catwalk, and its all-male equivalent Brave, has become one of Friends of ANCHOR’s most significant fundraisers.

More than £1.7million has been raised since 2013.

The full Courage on the Catwalk 2024 line up is -

Amy Robertson (18) Danestone.

Ann Gallon (51) Chapelton.

Ann Sutherland (64) Meikle Wartle.

Anna Liszka (41) Laurencekirk.

Annabelle Masson (48) Aberdeen.

Carol Cruickshank (40) Memsie.

Colleen McKenzie (67) Aberdeen.

Debbie Gray (45) Cove.

Eileen Brown (59) New Deer.

Eileen Mann (54) Stonehaven.

Elaine Logue (47) Cults.

Janet McKenzie (75) Aberdeen.

Jocelyn Cran (28) Whitehills.

Joyce Gibb (75) Laurencekirk.

Kirsty Mortimer (28) Ellon.

Laura Strong (59) Strichen.

Lisa Sangster (45) Cults.

Mandy Tait (53) Rothienorman.

Michelle Jenkins (49) Stonehaven.

Moira Stewart (75) Aberdeen.

Nikki Duncan (28) Bridge of Don.

Patricia Doherty (55) Aberdeen.

Rebecca Legge (27) Bucksburn.

Vivienne McHardy (77) Stonehaven.

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