Carra Redford, 38, joined the Royal Navy at 19 and served as an operator mechanic in underwater warfare on HMS Grafton. A hip injury led to her medical discharge, though, and later surgeries left her in constant pain and facing huge difficulties looking after herself and her family.
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Carra says: "When I first called SSAFA I didn’t call for financial help, I just needed some help to arrange some hydrotherapy sessions." Caseworker Dave Quill from SSAFA’s Essex Branch went to see Carra and husband Stuart, also a Navy veteran, and soon realised the family needed more support. Carra explains, "I’d had a number of falls down the stairs and my husband was going to put a bed downstairs for me, which I didn’t want. Dave got in touch with an occupational therapist who recommended a stair lift. I used to not be able to get in and out of the bath without help, but Dave has also organised a wet room conversion for us.
"This small thing and the support from SSAFA has completely changed our lives. It has given me back my freedom and independence. I don’t have to depend on other people all the time.”
SSAFA also sourced funding for a modern mobility scooter which has given Carra a new lease of life. “It’s like having my life back again – now I can take my children out like any other mother,” added Carra. "I can’t thank SSAFA enough for what they have done. It’s made a huge difference to not just my life, but also the rest of my family too."