Snow patrol for former officer

Snow patrol for former officer

Lucy Elder

Snow patrol for former officer

A former officer is heading to the mountains to support wounded soldiers.

Fiona Jackson will be heading to Klosters in the Swiss Alps in March along with about 20 other volunteer 'buddies'.

The trip is run by Skiing with Heroes, a charity that takes ex-soldiers skiing and helps them get back into work.

"It won't just end at the end of the ski week," said the 58-year-old.

"They have a job mentoring scheme for the veterans trying to get into to work."

All of the veterans from last year's trip who wanted to find employment have now done so.

Fiona, who lives in Altwood Road, served with the Royal Army Educational Corps for eight years until 1988, and then continued to serve as a reservist until 1992.

She now works as a career consultant for forces charity The Officers' Association, which helps ex-servicemen and women find jobs outside of the military.

The Maidenhead Tennis Club member decided to get involved after speaking to James Palmer-Tomkinson, a charity committee member.

Skiing with Heroes is now in its second year and has space to take 20 ex-soldiers.

"We are not there to instruct the veterans. What we are there to do is support them," said Fiona.

Instructors who are specially trained in adaptive skiing will teach the ex-soldiers, who have a wide range of injuries including loss of sight, post-traumatic stress disorder and loss of one or more limbs.

The buddies will be helping by supporting them on the slopes, helping them on and off ski lifts, providing moral support as well as taking part in social activities.

"I am quite excited," she said.

"I am quite nervous as well because I think it is going to be quite challenging."

Fiona has also fundraised for ABF The Soldier's Charity, formerly known as the Army Benevolent Fund, raising £600 taking part in a 22-mile hike across the Cateran Trail in Perthshire last year.

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