Retired Shoreham flight instructor: ‘Walking helped me with my depression’

A WOMAN has shared how walking proved therapeutic after her ex-husband died in a plane crash.

Dorothy Saul-Pooley, 64, said she took up the pastime after David Hockings, 67, died in a crash in Spain. The pair were still close friends.

Dorothy, who previously owned a flight instruction business, said the loneliness she suffered after the country went into lockdown caused her to suffer from depression.

She said: “His death was tragic, we were friends for 30 years. He was in charge of security so it was incredible.

“During the lockdown I suddenly felt very alone. I went for a walk because it gave me the opportunity to say hello to people.

“Hiking has been such a savior from depression, especially when you’re walking in amazing nature.”

The Argus: Dorothy says she found walking "therapeutic" since lockdownDorothy says she has found walking “therapeutic” since lockdown

Dorothy, who lives in Shoreham, said she took up flying to help combat the depression she faced in her first job as a solicitor in London.

After retraining to teach other flight instructors and examiners, she discovered a great love for flying before retiring just before the Covid-19 lockdowns.

She is now trying to use her love of walking to help others the way it has helped her by raising funds for the mental health charity Mind.

Having previously driven from Land’s End to John O’Groats for charity, she is now trying to do even better by hiking 500+ miles over the next five weeks.

Their journey begins in the Pyrenees and takes them across rough terrain to Santiago de Compostela in northeastern Spain.

The Argus: Dorothy will be trekking through the Pyrenees and Northern Spain. Image: Mike McBey | Creative CommonsDorothy will be hiking through the Pyrenees and northern Spain. Image: Mike McBey | Creative Commons

She said: “I heard about this hike and thought it sounded like something I’d like to do.

“I’m doing this with foot injuries, so it’s going to be quite a challenge.

“Mind has local offices and the money is used to service listeners and people on the end of the phone.”

That’s Dorothy has raised raised over £3,500 for the charity and is aiming to reach its £5,000 target. Retired Shoreham flight instructor: ‘Walking helped me with my depression’

Fry Electronics Team

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