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Family’s epic pebble hunt comes to a close

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Family’s epic pebble hunt comes to a close

FOR over a year Dumfries tot Beatrice George has been picking up pebbles on her daily walk.

And now her dad, Matthew, has the job of returning them all to their rightful homes.

But he doesn’t mind as it’s because of the pebbles that the family has raised an incredible £50,000 for NHS Charities Together.

The toddler’s antics went viral on social media last year and a subsequent ‘pebble hunt’ crowdfunding page attracted attention and donations from around the world, including from some big name celebrities.

However, the Georges have finally decided to call it a day after hitting the funding milestone, but they aren’t sure how to tell the two-and-a-half-year-old, who now picks up stones wherever she goes.

Matthew this week said: “I’m not sure how to break the news to her yet that we will be returning most of them to the harbour and beyond.

“Beatrice is at the childminder three days a week. She loves it there and gets taken out most days with the other children for walks . . . and often comes back with stones in her pocket.

“I’m going to miss finding pebbles in my shoes, the washing machine and under my pillow at night!”

He plans to hide some of the painted stones in various spots around the region for others to find.

Matthew and his wife have been blown away at the level of support for their fundraiser, which was inspired by the efforts of Captain Sir Tom Moore, who himself tweeted about Beatrice last October.

Other famous faces who sent messages included Dame Judy Dench, Stephen Fry, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Lord Sugar, Ant and Dec, the Dalai Lama, Dawn French, Roberto Carlos, Sir Michael Parkinson and so many more.

Listing the highlights, Matthew said: “Apart from the amount of money raised, it has been getting so many famous people sending her messages of support; being officially recognised in the Scottish Parliament cross-party and commended for her fundraising efforts. Also, seeing Beatrice’s development come along so well as she was learning to walk at the start of fundraising and there’s nothing stopping her now; and getting so much support from local people who have donated and shared her story.”

He has already come up with some more ideas for charity efforts and added: “Future fundraising is a possibility as it’s been so much fun for us all. I’ve got a few ideas but will wait until after things have settled more after pandemic.”

Meanwhile, Beatrice is filling her free time with books, painting, and getting outside and she loves watching Peter Rabbit and Paw Patrol – all the while oblivious to the huge difference she has already made at such a tender age.

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