The Pebble Project

Regretfully, due to overwhelming demand, we must pause new orders on the Pebble Project.


 

Wrinkling our noses at the glasses of green sludge, baby tomatoes, cucumber wedges and grilled lean chicken that sat before us, I think it hit both of us – this was getting real.

Anna and I are not your typical pea-shoot, lentil-loaf and quinoa loving friends… We’re more of a: curl-your-hands-around-hot-tea-and-have-a good-natter-over-a-selection-of-double-chocolate-dunking-biscuits kind of pair. But things have changed lately, because we have mountains to climb – yes, actual mountains. So the sweat, the achy limbs, the clean eating and good god even the lycra (!) are now a part of our daily routines. We talk reps and HIIT, gradients and gortex, and we’re putting in some SERIOUS gym time.

Anna and I met as fresh-faced 11 year olds at our catholic convent school for girls, all knee high socks, puppy fat and wide-eyed wonderment. As teens, we giggled over boys in the locker room, then made fantastically unbridled life plans as super-mature sixth formers. Later, we saw each other off to university, toasted new jobs, watched each other fall in love, then out of love, then in love and then eventually marry our “good eggs” and start families… Then we bore witness to each other’s darkest days as we each buried a son.

Seamus-pebble-resized

To mark the year that Seamus and Owen should have turned five, Anna and I will be climbing five mountains this year – the highest in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland – as part of the 5for5challenge.com. Five peaks for the boys who should have turned five.

Owen-pebble-resized

After facing the most incomprehensible loss and unspeakable pain, we are climbing for our boys, and raising money for two incredible charities along the way: Sands and Tommy’s.

We are lucky to be supported by some fellow mountain goats: Barbara, Sarah and Naomi and our number seems to be creeping higher (which is great news for our Pebble Project – more donkeys people to spread the weight!) Read on for details…


The Pebble Project

We are extending an invite to anyone who has lost a child to join our pebble project. We would like to paint the names of the babies you have lost on pebbles and carry them to the summit of the mountains, in return for a small donation. It is a simple act to honour the lives of the babies you carried, loved and lost. At the summit of each mountain we will take a moment to set their names down, pause and remember their precious lives.

We will then carry the pebbles back down, and post them home to you. From there, you can choose how to build on your pebble’s journey – take it to your own special places, find a nook in your home to display your baby’s name, travel the world with it, or just keep it in your pocket day to day.

Eva-Pebble-resized

FAQ’s:

Which mountains are you climbing and where will my pebble go?

We are climbing the five highest peaks in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland:

  1. Scafell Pike, England – 3209 feet
  2. Carrauntoohil, Ireland – 3406 feet
  3. Ben Nevis, Scotland – 4409 feet
  4. Snowdon, Wales – 3560 feet
  5. Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland – 2790 feet

Will you take photographs of my pebble at the summit?

We are desperately keen to take photographs of each pebble at the summit. But these are high mountains with unpredictable weather conditions. The weather will dictate how long we get to spend at the summit, but at the very least we hope to take some group photographs of the pebbles. That said, if we are lucky, and we make good time, we would like to take individual shots of each pebble, in turn. We may also take some short video footage.

Please note though – we are NOT professional photographers, but we will do our best. (All photography tips gratefully received!)

I love the idea, but I didn’t name my baby… Can I still take part?

For those who didn’t name their baby for whatever reason: Maybe it was an early loss and you never knew you could? Perhaps you didn’t know the sex of your baby? Or maybe it just didn’t feel right… We would be happy to paint a simple image or a symbol instead; something of special significance to you and your baby: A star? A snowflake? An initial? A date? Email us and we will help you choose something you love.

Snowflake-pebble-resized

Can you leave my pebble on one of the mountains?

Unfortunately, no. We had originally hoped to do this, but all climbers are respectfully asked to take everything back down the mountain that they brought up.

What kind of pebbles are they?

We are using slate pebbles for the project. These are generally quite small and light, and their flat surface takes the ink beautifully. They will each be hand painted, then sprayed with a protective sealer, which should ensure longevity.

Who does the money go to?

Your donation will go directly to Sands or Tommy’s through the JustGiving website. This is the very best way to maximise money to our chosen charities through the gift aid scheme for UK tax-payers.

Once we have completed the mountain climbs and we are ready to post the pebbles home to you, you will receive an email asking for postage payment and your package will be sent via Royal Mail. We will not take any profit on the postage fee, there will be no “rounding up to cover costs”, you will be charged the exact price it costs us to send the package to you – not a penny more.

Can I take part if I do not live in the UK?

Absolutely, but your postage fee will be higher.

Is there a time limit?

YES! We are planning the first summit for mid April, so we will take last orders on Sunday 10th April 2016. If you are reading this and the closing date has recently passed, do email me – we may be able to do something last minute.

Can I order more than one pebble for the same baby?

Yes, of course. You can order for yourself, your partner, friends, grandparents, siblings – as many as you like. The pebbles would make a beautifully thoughtful gift.

When will I receive my pebble?

We cannot fix the date for completion of the summits as we are so bound by the weather. We hope to have completed all summits by the end of July. So if you have the pebble in mind for a gift, it may not be with you until August, depending on where you are in the world. We will keep the website updated of our progress.

Ok, I’d like to take part, how do I book a pebble into your backpack?

Send your request through to aoife@5for5challenge.com

***Do not donate until you have received confirmation from us that we can fulfill your order.***

Please include the following:

  1. The name OR date OR image you would like painted on the pebble (First name only please as the pebbles are small)
  1. Which Mountain(s) you would like your pebble to visit:
  • Scafell Pike, England – 3209 feet
  • Carrauntoohil, Ireland – 3406 feet
  • Ben Nevis, Scotland – 4409 feet
  • Snowdon, Wales – 3560 feet
  • Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland – 2790 feet
  1. Tell us if you would like your donation to go to:
  • Sands
  • Tommy’s
  • No preference

Please note:

If you do not have a preferred charity, please choose “no preference”. We will then suggest whichever charity needs a bit of a boost to catch up with the other – we’d love to keep donations to each as even as possible.

  1. Please await an email confirming that we have accepted your order. We must be mindful of the weight in our backpacks, so orders will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

The suggested donation for carriage of the pebble is £5 per mountain, £12 for three, or £15 for all five. Please remember, if you wish your pebble to visit all five mountains, we will need your order ASAP and no later than 10th April 2016. Individual orders for Scafell Pike need to be in by then too, as this will be our first peak.

Wish us luck!


FURTHER DETAILS:

For those of you who are unaware of our project, you can read how the 5 for 5 Challenge works here, and more about our story here. We warmly welcome you to join in.

We’re delighted to be a registered event with both Sands and Tommy’s – fighting to save babies’ lives through research, and supporting bereaved parents through their darkest days.

If you would like to sponsor Aoife and Anna for their climbs you can visit their JustGiving pages here:

Aoife’s page

Anna’s page for Sands

Anna’s page for Tommy’s

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @5for5Challenge and join our 5 for 5 Challenge facebook group page.

One thought on “The Pebble Project

  1. Kat willoughby

    Hello I would like my pepples on each mountain you visit I already donated they are for my twin daughters Holly and precious who I lost 13 years ago I got here through an email you sent to me so I don’t know if this is correct, I would like them posted to me please thanks

    Reply

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