A MUM is asking people to join in a fundraising campaign to collectively walk 10 million steps in a week, in memory of her daughter who passed away at one day old.

Rebekah Taylor, who works at the Wilson, Willoughby & Wetherill’s branch of Co-op Funeralcare in Northallerton, lost her daughter Evelyn in April 2018.

Since then, Ms Taylor and her partner Michael Elliott have raised more than £10,000 for the neonatal ward in Middlesbrough, where Evelyn was cared for, funding the purchase of a state-of-the-art incubator that will help other babies that need special care at birth.

Ms Taylor, from Hipswell, near Catterick Garrison, is now enlisting the help of the wider community to remember Evelyn and further support the neonatal ward at James Cook Hospital.

She said: “Evelyn would have been two now, and it’s so important to us that her memory stays alive and doesn’t fade as time goes by.

“We still think about her all the time and want to funnel our energy into something positive, in tribute to her. Next week, we’re asking people to commit to walking as many steps as they can throughout the week in the hope that together we can reach a total of ten million steps.

“For those who can afford it, we’re asking for a donation of £20 at JustGiving.com/10milforevelyn, as part of the event, but anyone is welcome to participate – the main thing is for people to get out walking and think about Evelyn.

“Every step counts, from getting up on Monday, September 14, until going to bed on Sunday, September 20.”

There is a Facebook page '10 million steps for Evelyn' to support the event. People can send pictures of their walks, with competitions through the week for the best selfies and scenic photographs. Fundraisers can also use the #10milforEvelyn hashtag to share their support.

All money raised will go to the neonatal ward at James Cook Hospital, where Evelyn was cared for during her short life. Mr Taylor added: “Evelyn died due to a pregnancy complication called velamentous cord insertion which isn’t generally detected during pregnancy. This is an extremely rare complication but it caused Evelyn to lose a lot of blood when I went into labour, and sadly, she never recovered. We were able to spend time with Evelyn in the neonatal ward before she passed away and we had skin to skin contact with her, bathed her and sang to her."

“The team of doctors and nurses around us was so kind, professional and compassionate and we will always be grateful for their support at such a difficult time. We hope that our fundraising will help them as they work tirelessly to try to save other babies like Evelyn.”

Having worked at Co-op Funeralcare since she did her work experience there aged 15, Rebekah had previously supported many parents who had lost a child: “The grieving process is so different with a child. With an older relative you look back at all your memories together but we only had a few precious hours with Evelyn. It’s easier to dwell on milestones and think about how she should be running around and chatting to us now. That’s why we do so much in her memory – it helps us to stay focussed and channel those energies positively instead of dwelling on what might have been.”

Visit JustGiving at: http://www.justgiving.com/10milforevelyn.