Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Hero Ian Is Double Nominee Hero Ian Is Double Nominee Hero Ian Is Double Nominee Hero Ian Is Double Nominee

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Hero Ian Is Double Nominee Hero Ian Is Double Nominee Hero Ian Is Double Nominee Hero Ian Is Double Nominee

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Morgan Reporter mike.morgan@eveninggazette.co.uk

THAN PER MONTH WHEN loving dad Ian Richardson lost his wife and daughter in a devastating crash, he vowed their deaths would not be in vain.

The 40-year-old set about raising money to help others in memory of wife Joanne and six-yearold Mya, while being a devoted father to the couple's surviving daughter, Ava, then just weeks old.

In the three years since the accident, Ian has raised more than PS100,000 for his Jo and Mya Memorial Fund, which helps bereaved children and their families.

Now the Billingham dad has been nominated in two categories of the Evening Gazette Community Champion awards, as a champion fundraiser and champion parent.

Ian, who was runner up as champion fundraiser last year, said: "I'm lost for words at being nominated again, it's amazing.

"I'm humbled and honoured and try to act as a figurehead for my charity and also for Ava. She is a gorgeous daughter and an inspiration to me."

Tragedy struck three years ago this month as the family returned homefrom Ian's brother Simon's wedding in Dundee.

The family car, driven by Ian, was hit by a Jaguar travelling the wrong way down the A1. Its driver, a 61-year-old man from Blyth, was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving but within weeks died from a brain tumour.

Ian, of Blake Close, suffered rib and whiplash injuries and Ava, now three, survived, protected by her car seat which crumpled around her. Tragically Jo died at the scene and Mya the following day in hospital.

Since then friends have rallied round to help the two while Ian has taken on fundraising events and marathons, raising money for the Jo and Mya fund as well as other causes.

Friend Kay Brough, 35, of Keverstone Grove, Billingham, who nominated Ian for champion fundraiser, said: "Since Ian lost his wife and daughter, he's not only continued to fund -raise for his great charity, he's also bought a small town closer together involving Billingham in many events. …

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