THIS swarm of bees will be flying from Portsmouth and descending on Scotland – all to raise awareness of a charity.
The group of 16 friends and family will be climbing Ben Nevis for Group B Strep Support (GBSS).
The idea came from parents Michael and Natalie Frost, of Paddington Road, North End.
Michael, an electrician, and Natalie, a test analyst, lost their daughter – who they named Ella – during childbirth.
As previously reported in The News, the pair believe if a simple £10 test had been available on the NHS to test for group B streptococcus (GBS).
Now the couple are embarking on their first fundraiser and awareness challenge.
Natalie, 29, said: ‘We want to get the message out there as much as possible, so no other family has to go through what we did.
‘It was Michael’s idea to climb Ben Nevis and it was mine to get them dressed as bees.
‘As well as it being fun, we’re hoping it will mean people will approach them and ask why they are dressed as bees and then we can raise awareness of GBS.’
The group hopes to scale the 4,500ft mountain in eight hours.
Michael said: ‘I’ve climbed it before so know what it’s like. I’ve been going up and down Butser Hill to train for this.
‘I’m getting quite nervous and excited about it, but it should be good.
‘Above all we just want to raise awareness of GBS.
‘It baffles us why parents aren’t made aware of it when they see their GPs and midwives.’
GBS is a germ found in about a quarter of women, and often causes no ill effects.
If found, it can be treated with antibiotics. A simple test for the bacteria which costs about £10 is available – but not on the NHS.
The National Screening Committee is in charge of what should be tested.
It is due to launch a three-month consultation to see the view of parents and find out about their experiences relating to GBS.
But in the meantime Natalie and Michael are doing all they can to raise awareness of the germ.
So far more than £2,000 pounds has been raised and the couple hope to raise £5,000, which will go to GBSS.
The walk takes place on August 4.
Alongside the sponsored trek, a family fun day called Bee Aware has also been organised.
The event takes place at The Ye Olde Oyster House, in Locksway Road, Milton, on August 11.
Fun starts from 1pm and is free for people to come along.
Entertainment includes a fancy dress contest to dress as a bee, a silent auction with a signed copy of musician Paul Weller’s book and a signed Frank Lampard T-shirt.
To donate money go to gbss.org.uk/mikefrost.