Artistic Wigan schoolgirl's painted stones raise hundreds of pounds for NHS

Colourful stones paying tribute to the NHS can be found in scores of homes and gardens thanks to the artistic skills of a creative schoolgirl.
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Twelve-year-old Lyla Andrews started painting stones at her home on Pepper Lane, Standish, during the lockdown and soon found that other people liked them.

So she decided to leave them in the street, along with an honesty box, for passers-by wishing to buy them and help to raise money for the NHS.

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The colourful stones - which each feature a rainbow and the words “NHS 2020” - proved to be so popular that she raised £100 in just three days.

Lyla Andrews with her painted stonesLyla Andrews with her painted stones
Lyla Andrews with her painted stones

Lyla said: “At first I really liked painting stones because it’s really calming. I started putting them around my garden.

“My relatives, the next-door neighbours and grans and uncles started wanting to have them so I started making more.

“I had a crazy idea of selling them.”

Her proud mum Louise Andrews said: “It’s something for her to do and try to help the NHS. With everything going on, she wanted to do a bit of something to see if she could try to sell them.

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“When she raised £25 on the first day, she decided to keep going and it went from there.”

What started as a simple art project quickly snowballed and Lyla, a pupil at Standish High School, has now painted and sold more than 100 rocks.

They are priced at £2 for a small stone and £4 for a large stone, with people trusted to leave the payment in the honesty box due to social distancing measures.

Mrs Andrews said: “She goes out to say thank you to people. Everyone seems to love them.”

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Once the buyers take the stones homes, many have posted photographs of them in their new locations on Facebook for Lyla to see.

Inspired by the coronavirus pandemic, Lyla set herself a target of raising £500 for NHS Charities Together.

“Every little penny is going to the NHS,” she said. “I see it on the news and it’s really sad.”

With her target now within touching distance, she has not yet decided if she will pack away her paintbrush or continue selling the rocks to raise even more money.

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