Scummy Mummies Scale New Heights for Premature Birth Research

On March 29, 2023, at an astonishing altitude of 17,417 ft (5309m) on Mount Everest in Nepal, Borne Ambassadors Ellie Gibson and Helen Thorn, known as the Scummy Mummies, accomplished a remarkable feat. They secured the Guinness World Records title for the highest altitude stand-up comedy gig ever performed. Despite enduring a challenging 10-day trek to Everest base camp, battling altitude sickness, migraines, and sleepless nights, the duo remained determined to make a difference.


Overcoming Obstacles

Their journey to the record was not without its setbacks. Due to the impact of global warming, the original comedy “venue” was unexpectedly lower than anticipated. Undeterred, the Scummy Mummies, with the assistance of Nirmal Purja OBE’s Nimsdai team, found a higher spot at Everest camp base, ensuring they broke the record. Donning impressive gold catsuits in freezing temperatures, they delivered an awe-inspiring 30-minute comedy set to an audience of climbers, mountaineers, and bemused Sherpas.

” It was a tough gig! We were freezing cold in our gold catsuits, and the audience looked pretty chilly too. But they were brilliant, cheering us on, and it was an amazing experience. It wasn’t our easiest gig ever, but it was definitely the most memorable. ” – Ellie Gibson

A Personal Journey

The motivation behind this extraordinary endeavor was twofold. Ellie and Helen embarked on this challenging comedy gig to celebrate their 10-year friendship, which began after a chance meeting at a comedy gig in 2013. Their bond grew stronger as they supported each other through personal hardships, such as Ellie’s son Joe being born 9 weeks pre-term.

Furthermore, this milestone marked a decade of their successful business partnership with Scummy Mummies. Together, they have achieved incredible milestones, including 500 live shows, a sell-out 25-night performance at the Edinburgh Fringe, 250 award-winning podcasts, an Instagram following of over 160,000, a book, and merchandise.

My son Joe was born 9 weeks early in December 2014. It was a very scary time, and there were moments when we didn’t know if he was going to make it. Our story has a happy ending, but I wouldn’t wish what we went through on anyone, and I know the outcome could have been very different.” – Ellie Gibson

Supporting Borne and Prematurity Research

Passionate about giving back, Ellie and Helen are proud ambassadors for Borne, and we feel incredibly lucky to have them. Through their record-breaking comedy gig and the subsequent trek, they raised over £15,000 for Borne’s vital research initiatives. Ellie’s personal experience with her son’s premature birth drives their dedication to support our mission of preventing preterm births and improving the lives of mothers and babies.

We support our CEO, David Badocks, deep gratitude for Ellie and Helen’s incredible fundraising efforts, emphasizing the critical need for increased investment in pregnancy research. Currently, only 2.1% of medical research funds are allocated to reproductive health and childbirth, including premature birth research.Here ar Borne, we aim to change this by advocating for advancements in knowledge and healthcare to ultimately end premature birth, both locally and globally.

We are incredibly proud and grateful for the amazing fund-raising that our ambassador Ellie Gibson Helen Thorne have achieved. We know for every £1 spent on NHS maternity care, only 1p is spent on pregnancy research. The money Ellie and Helen have raised will go towards funding vital research to advance our knowledge, improving the lives of mothers and babies, and helping us with our mission to end premature birth – everywhere and forever.” – David Badcock

Looking beyond the summit

As the Scummy Mummies reflected on their journey, they found the challenge to be incredibly demanding, from enduring blizzards and lightning to missing their children. Yet, amidst the hardships, Ellie had a profound moment of appreciation during a midnight bathroom break. Stepping out of the tent into the freezing cold, she was greeted by the breathtaking sight of Mount Everest under a starry sky. In that serene moment, Ellie realized the magnitude of their achievement, appreciating the silent majesty of their surroundings.

We are incredibly proud to have ambassadors, like the Scummy Mummies taking on incredible challenges to help us fund even more research into pregnancy and labour. 


Stay Connected

Want to be the first to know about exciting research breakthroughs, upcoming events, and amazing fundraising feats? Sign up to our mailing list!

* indicates required

Please confirm that you are happy for us to keep in touch by email