Desert trek supports veterans
A MANGOTSFIELD resident is planning to trek across the Sahara desert in aid of the armed forces charity she works for.
Hannah Nash, 47, will head to Morocco in November for SSAFA, which supports serving men and women and veterans from the British Armed Forces.
The money will enable the charity's Bristol and South Gloucestershire trained volunteers to continue to offer support where it's needed.
“Many military personnel suffer with PTSD and struggle to adjust to life outside of their careers in the forces,” Hannah said.
“This creates a range of issues that can lead to homelessness, relationship breakdowns, financial problems and so on and this is where SSAFA supports by helping to provide those in need with financial, emotional and practical support.
“Our case workers are volunteers and do this because they care. I want to help raise as much money as possible to keep this going so we can continue to reach out to those who need us.”
SSAFA, formerly known as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, has been providing lifelong support since 1885 and works with World War Two veterans as well as young men and women who have served in more recent conflicts.
With six months to go, Hannah has raised more than £1,000 so is already more than half way to her £1,800 target.
To boost funds Hannah has organised a cake sale and is selling dog collar accessories such as bows and flowers via SSAFA's local Facebook page
Hannah, who has three daughters and two granddaughters, has been training with her pet dog Betty-Lou and runs three or four times a week at Pomphrey Hill and Rodway Common.
She said: “I'm running about three miles at the moment. It's still quite early days so at the moment it's quite sedate; we're just getting fit. Once the summer's over, I'll really step it up.”
Hannah said although the trek would see her walking up to eight hours a day in temperatures which could hit 35°C, she was looking forward to the challenge.
“The trek consists of two full days and two half days trekking across ancient dried up river beds, sand dunes and vast sun-baked plains and learning about the traditional Berber culture.
“Each day I will average five to eight hours of trekking, covering around 15-20km with my back pack and temperatures from 25°C to 35°C. At night time I will be camping in temperatures of around 0°C but I'm looking forward to sleeping under the stars – how amazing is that going to be?!”
If you would like to donate to Hannah's mission, please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hannah-nash4
To find out more about the charity's work, visit SSAFA Bristol & South Gloucestershire on Facebook or see www.ssafa.org.uk