‘And I will walk 5,000 miles in dad’s memory ‘

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A mum is walking 5,000 miles to raise cash for two charities in honour of her late father.

Natalie Thomas launched a year-long challenge to cover the distance in memory of her dad John Elsey, of Normanton.

Mr Elsey, who died in 2015, was president of Normanton and District Lions Club, an organisation which fundraises to support community groups.

Mrs Thomas, who grew up in Normanton and now lives in the Isle of Wight, is raising money for the Lions and Railway Children, which helps troubled youngsters who run away from home.

She walked the latest 50-mile leg of the challenge on Wednesday back on the island after walking 47 miles in Yorkshire.

Speaking on Wednesday Mrs Thomas, 28, said: “It’s been hard work but I am getting a lot out of it. Forty-five miles a day is my goal but that will change today when I hit 50.”

Mrs Thomas, who is taking daughter Tia, two, on parts of the challenge, said she planned to complete the 5,000 miles by December.

Mr Elsey was a member of Normanton Lions for more than 20 years and president three times.

He was also a railway enthusiast who campaigned for improvements at Normanton station.

Mrs Thomas said: “He was a really big charity person. He was so passionate about Normanton railway station and wanted it to be immaculate with no litter.

“The reason I chose Railway Children was my dad’s connection to the railways. They look out for street children and they work in Britain and abroad.”

To sponsor Mrs Thomas log on to www.gofundme.com/5000-miles-365-days