Touching tribute to Jo and Mya

Ian Richardson pictured with daughter Ava. In the background are photographs of his wife Joanne and daughter Mya who were killed in the car crash.

Ian Richardson pictured with daughter Ava. In the background are photographs of his wife Joanne and daughter Mya who were killed in the car crash.

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HUNDREDS of people around the world will release lanterns into the air to remember a tragic mother and daughter.

Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the car accident which claimed the lives of Joanne and Mya Richardson in August 2010.

Ian, as well as friends and family all over the globe, will remember Joanne, 40, and eldest daughter Mya, aged six, at exactly 9.30pm by releasing Chinese lanterns into the air.

It marks the time when the accident happened.

Ian will spent two days in reflection of the loved ones he lost. His wife died on August 8. His daughter Mya passed away the next day.

He will spend the days with his three-year-old daughter Ava who, like Ian, survived the accident.

He said: “It is a hard week for me and I do have a wobble when I look at the picture of Jo and Mya.

“Ava looks so like Mya. I have a dichotomy of emotions, thinking how much her mum and sister would have loved to see Ava growing up.

“Ava is fully aware of who mummy and Mya are. She knows they are in heaven.

“It is lovely for her to know them, but it is heartbreaking at the same time.”

Since the passing of his wife and daughter, Ian has thrown himself into fundraising work.

He set up a charity called the Jo and Mya Memorial Fund, to help children who have lost loved ones.

It has raised thousands of pounds for charity, but Ian admitted he would “switch off” this week for a time of remembrance.

People can join in with the lantern tribute.

Ian said 600 people took part in the tribute last year and he is hoping for similar support this year.

He is also urging anyone who releases a lantern to take a photograph of it and post it onto a Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/events/181777598657612/

Meanwhile more events for the fund are on the way.

They include fund supporters tackling a “Rat Race” obstacle course on August 26, and the “yomp” to the summit of Roseberry Topping on a date yet to be fixed.

A sponsored 24-hour football game will be held at the Domes in Seaton Carew in November and there are also plans for the “longest ever” football match.

For more details, visit either the fund’s website at www.joandmya.co.uk or the fund’s Facebook page.