Famous faces and thousands of Littlehampton residents have got behind the pebble-painting craze which is sweeping the town.
Emma Neno, organiser of #CancerWiseRocks, recruited a selection of celebrities to endorse the campaign, which is raising awareness for Cancerwise, an independent charity which helps patients and loved ones deal with the emotional and mental impact of living with the disease.
Television personality Calum Best, money-saving expert Martin Lewis, ITV1 presenter Kunle Barker, and Grand Designs Live host Lee Baldry all signed pebbles when the 40-year-old met them at the Ideal Home Show in London on March 27. These will be auctioned to raise money for the charity.
The Rustington native is now searching for other famous faces to join her quest. She said: “I was nervous meeting them but they were all so nice and they were really happy to get involved. Raising funds for CancerWise is really important to continue the vital work they do, so getting the support from people who can help me raise some funds means so much.”
Cartoonist Mike Payne, who designed the Tatty Teddy for the ‘Me to You’ greetings cards and gifts, signed a pebble and drew Cancerwise a cartoon with one of his characters and gave them the copyright.
This comes after the #CancerWiseRocks Facebook page reached 6,000 likes in a month, with the figure still growing.
Hundreds of people have painted pebbles with the #CancerWiseRocks hashtag on it and hidden them around Littlehampton, and uploaded photos of their children discovering the rocky art online. Emma said the craze had spread as far as Australia and Beverly Hills in the United States.
The mother-of-two used Cancerwise when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in July 2011, while was was deputy mayor of Littlehampton. The Arun District Councillor enrolled on a Living Well With and Beyond Cancer course, which included counselling that helped her through what she said was the ‘whirlwind’ of check-ups and letters after her diagnosis.
She said: “I really don’t know what I would have done without them. It was a whirlwind of appointments and tests in the hospital, and they gave me the time to process it all.”
A Easter Sunday event at Mewsbrook Park Café also raised £212 for the charity.
If you are a business and would like to sponsor some pebbles, email firstname.lastname@example.org.