A FAMILY walked the length of the Worcester and Birmingham canal in memory of a much loved father and grandfather to raise vital funds for charity.

Jackie and Martin Bird, and their daughter Abigail, from Rainbow Hill, Worcester, trekked more than 30 miles in a bid to generate cash for and raise awareness of the work of the local branch of Parkinsons UK.

They carried out the challenge in memory of Mrs Bird’s father, Ron Crawford, who died in June last year following a long battle with the disease. Mrs Bird said: “We thought we would only raise about £200 and so far we’ve raised £600.

“We’d like to thank everyone for their support. Even people along the canal were giving. We took a photograph of my dad who passed away last year from Parkinsons and it’s a really awful disease.

“It affects the families as well. It’s awful to watch somebody slowly slip away from you.

“The response we had was really good. It’s a recession at the moment and you wouldn’t think people would want to give so much. It was unbelievable.”

Mr Crawford’s grand-daughter, Miss Bird, wore an Aston Villa strip throughout the journey in honour of her grandfather’s love of the team.

The Birds were also joined by friends Martin and Karen Lewis, and Angie Grantham.