The pledge comes after SSAFA helped her find her birth father, a former soldier
Su Paine, 54, has pledged to walk no less than 2,500 miles for SSAFA – 6.85 miles a day – in a year after a volunteer from SSAFA’s Somerset branch helped her to uncover the dramatic story of her birth father, a former soldier. For Su, who was adopted as a baby, it has been an emotional journey.
Starting with her birth certificate Su was able to track her father, Corporal Nick White, as far as the Royal Sussex Regiment. From there, SSAFA Volunteer Simon Yates took up the mantle of finding Su’s family using his own military contacts and newspaper archives – with great success!
It turned out that Corporal Nick White had moved to Northern Ireland to marry after leaving the Army but was sadly shot and killed at the age of 31. In 1975, he had won a Peace Award for his work uniting the young Catholics and Protestants.
Since discovering her new family, Su has now met relatives that she didn’t realise she had and gained some insight into what he was like as a person. “I inherited his height and his eye colour – his passion for stock car racing – and as a former social worker, I have tremendous respect for what he was trying to do in Northern Ireland,” says Su.
Now to repay her gratitude to SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity for helping her find her long-lost family, Su has undertaken a personal fitness challenge of walking 2,500 miles in one year. Her daily walks – monitored by a Fitbit – are not only raising money and awareness for SSAFA, but also giving her the time and space to process all the new information she has about her father.
Of her personal mission, Su said: “My commitment to the memory of my father, a courageous man who I will sadly never have the opportunity to meet, and my desire to raise much-needed funds for SSAFA to enable them to give somebody else the gift they have given me, keeps me walking every day. It has to.”
You can support Su’s inspirational fundraising journey by visiting: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Su-Paine
Notes to editors
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has been providing lifelong support to our Forces and their families since 1885. Every year our staff and team of volunteers help more than 67,000 people, from Second World War veterans to young men and women who have served in more recent conflicts.