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Cowling teenager Sophie's poignant tribute to family
A teenager who lost her twin sister and her dad in a car crash will mark the ten-year anniversary of the tragedy by fundraising for a national charity for bereaved children.
Sophie Thomas, of Cowling, was just five years old when her beloved sister Louise and dad Michael died in a smash involving their car and a lorry on April 5, 2002, on the M27 motorway in Hampshire.
This year, the 16-year-old has launched The Pebble Garden – a personal fundraising project in aid of Winston’s Wish, a national charity for bereaved children.
She has painted and varnished more than 1,000 pebbles with simple words and pictures such as “wish”, “smile” and “believe”, which she is selling to friends, family and the public.
She said: “My twin sister Louise died five days before our sixth birthdays and my dad Michael died in the same accident aged 40. I received support from Winston’s Wish to help cope with both bereavements and felt this was a good way of giving something back.”
And in just two months the dedicated fundraiser has so far raised more than £1,000 for the charity and plans to continue her Pebble Garden project while studying for her A-levels.
Sophie, who has a brother Dan, 14, step-sister Grace, 10 and half-sister Saskia, seven, moved to Cowling with her mum Claire Daly eight years ago from their former family home in London.
Sophie, a former pupil at South Craven School in Cross Hills, spent the summer selling pebbles at craft fairs at Skipton Town Hall and has also raised money with a stall at a country show and a supermarket.
Each pebble comes in its own bag with a note about the Pebble Garden project and Sophie runs a blog and Facebook page.
She said: “This is quite a landmark year for me and I didn’t want to feel I was leaving Louise behind. I have just taken my GCSEs and am starting my A-levels at a new school. Launching The Pebble Garden project has helped me to keep Louise’s memory alive.”
For more information on The Pebble Garden project or to buy pebbles visit facebook.com/pebblesinthepost. To read Sophie’s story visit her blog at thepebble gardenproject.blogspot.co.uk.