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Grandmother gets her first ever tattoo aged 98 in ink tribute to her grandson after he took his own life


  •  Are you older than Winifred and had your first tattoo? Email: gina.kalsi@mailonline.co.uk
  • For confidential support, call Samaritans free on 116 123 or visit samaritans.org 

A 98-year-old grandmother has got her first ever tattoo in tribute to her grandson who took his own life.

Winifred Pinner, from Birmingham, wanted to raise money for the mental health charity Mind, after her 34-year-old grandson Jamie died by suicide in September last year. 

The father-of-one had been suffering from depression for more than a decade and would often speak to his family about his mental health condition. 

Winifred, also known as Nanny Win, told the BBC: ‘New Year’s Day I was sitting here thinking about him and it was as if he was laughing at me and joking.

‘I said “Yes, I’m going to have a tattoo with your name” and I could see him laughing at me.

Are you older than Winifred and had your first tattoo? Email: gina.kalsi@mailonline.co.uk

Winifred Pinner, from Birmingham , wanted to raise money for the mental health charity Mind, after her 34-year-old grandson Jamie died by suicide in September last year

Winifred Pinner, from Birmingham , wanted to raise money for the mental health charity Mind, after her 34-year-old grandson Jamie died by suicide in September last year

The tattoo features a black heart with Jamie's initial inside it along with a smaller, red love heart

The tattoo features a black heart with Jamie’s initial inside it along with a smaller, red love heart

“Silly old nanny” he would say and that’s how it all started – and lovely people out there have already donated and I’m so thankful for them.’

Her granddaughter, Gemma, who has been a tattoo artist for more than 10 years, worked on the design and inked Winifred on February 18. 

The tattoo features a black heart with Jamie’s initial inside it along with a smaller, red love heart. 

Speaking about getting her first tattoo, the grandmother said the sensation was ‘surprising,’ adding: ‘It’s a lot better than I thought it would be.

‘It’s a comfort to know that Gemma is doing it. I’d feel a bit strange with somebody else.’

Her granddaughter, Gemma, who has been a tattoo artist for more than 10 years, worked on the design and inked Winifred on February 18

Her granddaughter, Gemma, who has been a tattoo artist for more than 10 years, worked on the design and inked Winifred on February 18

Speaking of mental health, she added: ‘Don’t be ashamed to ask for help, [It’s] out there, be brave and talk to somebody.’ 

Gemma said: ‘It being my own nan makes it even more nerve-wracking.

‘However I’ve been tattooing 10 years and I’m confident I’ll be able to produce something she will be happy with.

‘It’s special that it’s for my brother and it’s a tribute for him and it feels extra special that it’s in the family and she doesn’t have to go elsewhere in order to get the tattoo.’

The Mind fundraiser has raised more than £1,500 and Winifred thanked everyone who donated. 

 For confidential support, call Samaritans free on 116 123 or visit samaritans.org 



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