Family walking in Pa’s memory of Pa

Eric Mitchinson with his wife and seven grandchildren, including Samara Crystal
Eric Mitchinson with his wife and seven grandchildren, including Samara Crystal
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Teacher Samara Crystal is gearing up to put her best 
foot forward for a special fund-raising feat, for a cause very close to her heart.

Last month, the 26-year-old, of Thornton, lost her grandad, Eric Mitchinson, who she affectionately called her Pa.

Together with her cousins – all seven of Mr Mitchinson’s grandchildren – and other family members and friends, she is taking part in a charity walk in March, in aid of the British Lung Foundation and the British Heart Foundation.

They will walk from his first family home in Wigan, to the home he shared with his wife Doreen in Blackpool – five days before what would have been his 79th birthday.

Between 20 and 30 people will be walking the route – expected to take around nine to 10 hours.

Samara said: “Our grandad was known as our Pa, he didn’t like being called a grandad, because it made him feel old.

“Sadly, we lost our Pa on November 3 and we – his beloved seven grandchildren – decided we wanted to raise awareness and funds for the British Lung Foundation and the British Heart Foundation.

“We wanted to do an event in memory of our amazing Pa, but we wanted to make it as personal as possible.

“Pa was born in Wigan, but moved to Blackpool with our nana and their three daughters after enjoying many holidays here when they were younger.

“So we are starting the walk at his first family home in Wigan, and walking back to Blackpool – where he enjoyed many happy memories.

“It is such an important cause to us, because we want to raise as much money as possible to help people with the same problems as my Pa had.

“We have contacted both foundations in reference to the event, so they know it is officially happening.

“And all donations will go straight to them, with no middle man.

“We have two justgiving pages set up online, one for each charity.

“We are going to have 
T-shirts made and we will have a car with refreshments following us.

“We would welcome anyone who would like to join in the event – the more, the 
merrier.”

The walk will take place on Sunday, March 5.

* To support Samara, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EricMitchinson-Pa or www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EricMitchinson-Pa-Heart