Shropshire Star

Former RAF policewoman heads to Israel for Veteran Games

A Shropshire RAF veteran is heading to Tel Aviv in Jerusalem to take part in this year’s Veteran Games

Ann Hughes with her husband Mike

Ann Hughes, from Shifnal, was a RAF policewoman for 20 years until the 53-year-old was diagnosed with secondary progressive MS (multiple sclerosis) in 2007, which affects her sight, her mobility, muscle spasms and severe fatigue.

She is heading to the Veteran Games taking place between May 27 and June 2 to raise money for The RAF Benevolent Fund.

The charity housed Ann in 2009 and made the necessary adaptations to her home, helped to support the cost of a mobility scooter and has provided short breaks away with the Disabled Holiday Trust.

Ann said: “Without the help of the Fund I don’t know where I would be. After a long time serving in the Air Force, I felt lost finding out I had MS.

"I had always paid into the Fund whilst in the Force and never thought I’d need them. When I was discharged, I became very depressed, but the Fund were immediately there for me. They have been like a family helping veterans.”

First held in 2019, the Veteran Games will see 65 British wounded, sick and injured Armed Forces veterans travel to Israel with their families where they will compete with their Israeli counterparts who are battling similar challenges.

Ann added: “I had never heard about the Veteran Games, so when they asked me, I knew I wanted to get involved.

"I am most looking forward to meeting other veterans and Israeli veterans too. I used to be active in the RAF going on sailing, skiing and mountaineering expeditions, so it will be nice to talk to others who are the same.”

The Veteran Games will see former servicemen and women compete in a variety of sports while learning how their respective countries provide care for those wounded, sick and injured in the service of their country.

Ann will have the opportunity to meet and share common experiences with other veterans in a relaxed and supportive environment, while enjoying social activities and cultural events that will provide an insight into Israel’s rich heritage and history.

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