Walking in memory of our '˜Pa'

It took around seven-and-a-half hours, in the pouring rain but has so far raised more than £1,500 for two good causes.
The walkers taking part in the sponsored walk in memory of Eric MitchinsonThe walkers taking part in the sponsored walk in memory of Eric Mitchinson
The walkers taking part in the sponsored walk in memory of Eric Mitchinson

Some 35 people took part in a very special sponsored walk at the weekend, which saw friends and family of the late Eric Mitchinson walk from his first family home in Wigan, to the home he shared with his wife Doreen in South Shore, Blackpool.

The event was even more poignant as it was taking place five days before what would have been his 79th birthday.

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Mr Mitchinson died on November 3 and his seven devoted grandchildren decided they wanted to raise money for the British Heart Foundation and British Lung Foundation in his memory.

His granddaughter Samara Crystal, of Thornton, was among those who walked the mammoth 20 mile route.

The route had to be changed from the original plan, as one section was undergoing major roadworks and there was no footpath to walk on.

But the walkers braved the weekend’s torrential rain and succeeded in smashing their target of £1,000, raising more than £1,500.

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Samara, a 26-year-old teacher – who affectionately called her grandad Pa – said: “The rain was horrendous basically all the way.

“But we did it, it was completed in around seven-and-a-half hours.

“We are really pleased with the fundraising, it has beaten our targets and we have already raised more than £1,500.

“And we would like to thank Lloyds Pharmacy and Alison Handling for their food, and first-aid equipment donations for the walk, as well as everyone who has donated and who took part.

People have been very generous.

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“We wanted to do an event in memory of our amazing Pa, but we wanted to make it as personal as possible, so we chose to walk between his first family house and his home in Blackpool.

“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.

“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.

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

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“We sadly lost him on November 3 and we – his seven beloved grandchildren – wanted to raise awareness and funds for both the British Lung Foundation and the British Heart Foundation.

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

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

“We’re going to keep them active for a few more weeks, so we can raise as much money as possible.”

• To support Samara and her family, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EricMitchinson-Pa or www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EricMitchinson-Pa-Heart