Scottish toddler's pebble hunt raises nearly £30,000 for NHS

A toddler has raised nearly £30,000 for the NHS by collecting pebbles as she learnt to walk.

Toddler Beatrice George has raised nearly £30,000 for the NHS. Picture: Matthew George SWNS

One-year-old Beatrice George has only just learnt to walk, and has been obsessed with pebbles she collects from a beach near her family's home.

Since finding her feet n February, she has collected close to 160 pebbles since lockdown began - with her parents saying her confidence has soared in the past five months.

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Matthew, 43, and wife Lucy, who works as a teacher, have been thrilled watching Beatrice toddling along the seafront and harbour near their home in Kingholm Quay, Dumfries and Galloway.

And what began as a hobby for the toddler turned into a massive fundraiser for the NHS after the proud parents set up a JustGiving page. To date, it has raised nearly £30,000.

Matthew said: "My daughter's been looking at pebbles ever since she started walking.

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"Once a day we go out for a walk. There's lots of pebbles around and she picks one each day and puts it in a basket.

"Beatrice was standing on her own since November or December but towards the end of February she took off. There's so much space for her to roam around. Going round picking up the pebbles has given her more of an incentive."

Mr George said that the experience of being with Beatrice during lockdown has allowed him and his wife to see her grow up close.

"We've seen her develop so much over the last four or five months,” he added. “Usually she would be with a childminder. It's been a blessing in disguise I suppose, and a lot of fun."

The couple were inspired to set up the fundraiser by 100-year-old Captain Tom Moore, who has helped raise more than £32m for NHS Charities Together by walking 100 lengths of his garden.

The fundraiser at first received donations from family and friends, but after comedian Miranda Hart shared a video on social media praising the initiative

It has also attracted attention from several other famous faces, including actor Stephen Fry, actress Judi Dench and former prime minister Gordon Brown.

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