TWO women have started their fundraising challenge to climb all 214 Wainwright peaks in the Lake District in just four weeks in memory of their baby nephew.

Sophie Cox and Jennie Pearce-Roberts embarked on their first day of climbs on Friday at Coniston, which they are doing in memory of Joey Patrick Bedford, who was just ten months old when he died in June.

The first day of the challenge saw them taking in 13 miles of climbs of Wetherlam, Swirl How, Great Carrs, Grey Friar, Brim Fell, Coniston Old Man, and Dow Crag of the Coniston Fells.

Day two, on Saturday, will tackle Pike of Blisco, Cold Pike, Crinkle Crags, Bow Fell, Esk Pike, and Rossett Pike – 12.5 miles from Head of Langdale.

The sheer volume of climbs means the women will have to climb more than 10 fells on some of the days; will often have to camp in the wild; and will be governed by the wind on some days if it too strong to climb to a high altitude.

Miss Pearce-Roberts said: "We went to Keswick last year as a big family group with Joey's parents, Gina and Jordan, and his grandparents.

"We fell in love with the area, and Catbells was our first Wainwright. We had bought a book on the Wainwrights and had planned to try and complete them all over the next ten years, taking on about 20 a year.

"Following the loss of Joey, we needed a focus, for ourselves and for Joey's family – to raise awareness and funds for the correct cause in time.”

In May, over a three week period, Joey became ill with a virus and was taken to the doctor and A&E five times, after symptoms were not improving.

Mr and Mrs Bedford, from Nunthorpe, then took Joey to a walk-in clinic, where he had a seizure and was rushed to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, and later the RVI in Newcastle. It became apparent there was something not right with Joey’s brain as it was showing signs of swelling.

Sadly, despite doctor’s best efforts, Joey died on June 17, aged just 10 months.

Miss Cox said: “The training has been tough but we have been supported by friends and family all the way, with people joining us for all of our training walks on a weekend.”

On their first climb, Miss Cox said: “After 20 minutes we were sweating already, it was very hot and muggy! Quite a bit of low cloud but it is quite pleasant really – so far, so good!”

More than £12,000 has now been raised in Joey’s memory, and his parents hope that money can be used to help other parents suffering from the loss of a child, although specific beneficiaries are yet to be decided.

A video has been launched to explain Miss Pearce-Roberts and Cox’s challenge, and about Joey’s life and legacy.

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