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Blind RAF veteran calls on public to walk the Fire Walk for Blind Veterans UK

Date
1 September 2014 17:05

A registered blind RAF veteran is calling on daredevils from across north Wales to sign up for an exciting Fire Walk across hot coals to raise vital funds for Blind Veterans UK.

Kerry Reed, 52 and from Holyhead, Anglesey, will be taking part in the Fire Walk organised by Blind Veterans UK, on November 8 at our Llandudno centre.

Kerry says: "When I heard about the Fire Walk, I just thought, 'Wow, that sounds like a totally different way to support a charity which has done so much for me.

"They've given me my life back and helped me set up a business, so this is my way of giving back to Blind Veterans UK."

Kerry served as an Aerospace Systems Operator in the RAF from 1979 to 1983. During her service, one of Kerry's responsibilities was tracking Russian aircraft as they flew through British airspace.

Kerry says: "This was during the Cold War, so we had to keep a close eye on the Russian flight patterns. Sometimes they'd be a bit nosy, but as long as they stuck with their scheduled flight, we didn't get involved.

"Of course, if they deviated from what they'd scheduled, we'd have to politely escort them out of British airspace.

"I really enjoyed the RAF, especially the camaraderie. It was like being part of a big family."

After meeting her husband, Kerry left the RAF to bring up their children. It wasn't until twenty years after finishing her service that she started to lose her sight. In 2007, Kerry had a stroke which caused her to lose lateral field vision in her left eye. The year after, she lost central vision in her right eye.

Kerry says: "I was told that I had macular dystrophy and that the stroke had exacerbated the condition.

"It was a bit of a shock, but I was warned that I might lose my sight. My remaining peripheral vision was actually a bit of a pain, because it wasn't good enough to help in any way.

"Shortly after, a social worker asked if I'd considered contacting Blind Veterans UK. I hadn't heard of them and had no idea that there was such good support available."

Since 2008, Kerry has received free and comprehensive support from Blind Veterans UK, including educational grantsto help her train in physiotherapy and reflexology, which she now does professionally.

Kerry says: "Blind Veterans UK have turned my life around, and I can't wait to do the Fire Walk to raise funds for the charity.

"For anyone who is nervous about walking over hot coals, Blind Veterans UK will be running training sessions on the day to show people how to do the Fire Walk. It will be a fantastic event and I'd call on anyone who is looking for a challenge to sign up and raise vital funds for this great cause."

Our Fire Walk will take place at our centre on Queen's Road, Llandudno, on the evening of Saturday 8 November with a low registration fee of just £25. We requests that those taking part raise at least £50 in sponsorship and Llandudno's George Hotel is offering a special room rate for those needing accommodation.

For more details about the event, please visit our event page or contact Victoria Beech on 01492 864574 or victoria.beech@blindveterans.org.uk.