Dad’s delight as people from Leeds, York, Manchester and Whitby enter Great North Run for Jo and Mya fund

Ian Richardson
Ian Richardson

A CHARITY set up by a tragic dad will be represented by more than 80 entrants in the Great North Run.

Joggers from Leeds, York, Manchester and Whitby have all signed up to tackle the 13-mile event on Sunday, September 7, on behalf of the Jo and Mya Memorial Fund.

The fund’s founder Ian Richardson said: “We have got a lot more support this year and it shows how far we have come.

“We had six entries in the first year that we were formed. We had 20 in year two, 45 in year three and 50 last year but this year we have got 85 entries and all the places are taken.”

Ian’s wife Joanne, 40, and eldest daughter Mya, aged six, died in an accident in August 2010. Ian suffered four smashed ribs, a popped rib cage, a bruised lung and heart, whiplash, broken toes and cuts in the crash. His younger daughter Ava, now aged four, was not injured.

He suffered post traumatic stress disorder and ceased working.

But since then, Ian formed the Jo and Mya Memorial Fund to support children who have lost loved ones.

It holds fundraising events and one of the biggest is the huge presence that the charity has in the Great North Run.

Ian said: “Team Jo and Mya has got people coming from all over the country for this one. As well as Manchester, York and Leeds, they are coming from further south. We are hoping that we can raise between £15,000 and £20,000 from the run.”

Ian has written a chapter for a new book which is being planned on post traumatic stress disorder. Ian, who lives in Billingham, is one of 12 people to have contributed to the proposed publication called The Book of PTSD. .

On top of that, Ian wants to work with schools and set up a programme where teachers can learn how to deal with grief among schoolchildren.

Ian is also behind a fundraising tattoo convention called the North East Tattoo Expo which will be held on June 14/15, at The Arc in Dovecot Street in Stockton.

In the meantime, Ian would love to hear from more people willing to support the fund’s Great North runners.

Anyone willing to help can find out more at www.joandmya.co.uk