Tyne and Wear veteran completes ultimate challenge for SSAFA

A local Navy veteran has completed the ultimate SAS selection challenge and raised over £4,000 for the charities that have supported him after he was diagnosed with PTSD.

Last Saturday, John Mew, 60, from Dinnington in Newcastle took part in the gruelling 24km Fan Dance Race, which sees participants run over the highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons, Pen Y Fen, not just once – but twice.

John completed the challenge in just under six hours and to date has raised £4,145 for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity and Forward Assist.

John served in the Royal Navy for 12 years as a physical training instructor, ships diver and as a member of the Portsmouth Command Field Gun Crew.

At the height of the Falklands War in May 1982, John was on board the HMS Coventry, when she was struck by three Argentinian bombs.  The ship capsized and sank in just 20 minutes, taking the lives of 20 crew members and injuring a further 29.

The loss of HMS Coventry sent shockwaves through the country, something John still finds himself feeling over thirty-five years later.  In 2015, John was diagnosed with PTSD and has anxiety and depression. He currently receives ongoing support from two charities SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity and Forward Assist.

John is supported by the SSAFA branch in Tyne and Wear and has been given a SSAFA caseworker, Marion who has built his confidence and helped get him back on his feet.

SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity provides lifelong support to those currently serving, veterans and their families.  Through its dedicated network of volunteers across the country, SSAFA offers practical, emotional and financial help to the Armed Forces community in their hour of need.

Donate to support John by visiting: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JohnMew

For more information or interview opportunities, please contact Emily Garner in the SSAFA Press Office on emily.garner@ssafa.org.uk or 0207 463 9321

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.

For more information visit www.ssafa.org.uk and follow us on Twitter: @SSAFA.

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