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Baring (nearly) all for mental health

Baring (nearly) all for mental health
Vet school students have ditched their clothes to support mental health. PHOTO SUPPLIED

A Methven vet student has joined her classmates in getting their kit off for a good cause.

Third-year vet students at Massey University have reinstated a tradition this year by baring (nearly) all for a fundraising calendar.

Backlash and threats to students of the Royal Veterinary College in England after producing a similar calendar in 2019 prompted Massey to halt the fundraiser.

After a three-year break, the calendar is back, and students have welcomed its return, vet school student Charlotte Roberts says.

Roberts, who grew up on a dairy farm near Methven, said the rules around using animals in images have changed, and the light-hearted "tasteful" calendar now has the university's support.

"We convinced the vet school to bring it back this year.

"It's not meant to be raunchy; it's just a bit of fun."

Proceeds from the calendar will help fund 'halfway day', a tradition where vet students celebrate the halfway point in their degree with a class trip to Taupō.

Five dollars from every calendar sold will also go to the student's chosen charity, Whatever with Wiggy, which helps to support rural mental health.

"In the farming and vet community, mental health is such a big issue, and we wanted to choose a charity that aligned with that and the way the vet school is moving.

"Massey has some great well-being initiatives, and it's way more of a focus than it used to be."

The students have been working on the calendar since July, with students being photographed on farms throughout the country by a photographer of their choice.

Roberts said that most of the vet school's 130 students were involved in making the calendar, whether they were modelling for photos or helping with production and sales.

"Basically, everyone has been into it, which is great."

Roberts says her family have been supportive of the calendar, although her father has some misgivings.

"I think Dad's a bit mortified.

"I couldn't show him the photo; I was too embarrassed.

"Mum thinks it's funny, but they both just sort of roll their eyes.

"Dad was joking about putting one up in the dairy shed, but I'm not sure how I feel about that," Roberts laughs.

Copies of the 2024 Barely There Vet Calendar can be purchased directly from students or via a Shopify web store throughout November and December.

By Claire Inkson