12 March 2021

A Wellingborough man will be sleeping under the stars to raise funds for homeless veterans during the pandemic.

Wellingborough resident William Brown will be swapping the comfort of his own bed for a night outside as part of a fundraising campaign to raise funds for homeless veterans during the coronavirus pandemic.

William is taking part in Royal British Legion Industries’ Great Tommy Sleep Out which will see participants brave the cold for a night this month in aid of the roughly 6,000 military veterans living on the streets in the UK.

He joins more than 2,300 people throughout the country who have already signed up to the challenge and who have raised £50,000 in the first week of the challenge.

Every penny raised will go directly to RBLI’s wide range of services providing a home, welfare and employment support to military veterans.

RBLI, which is a separate charity to the Royal British Legion, provides a home to more than 300 veterans and their families through its Kent village, including homeless veterans through their emergency accommodation Mountbatten Pavilion.

At the heart of the village is the charity’s social enterprise factory, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, which provides employment opportunities to veterans and people with disabilities.

Throughout the pandemic, the team in BBMC have been helping to keep the country running producing signs for major infrastructure projects, pallets for the transportation of food and ventilators, and hand sanitisers for the telecoms industry.

The team have also been fulfilling the thousands of challenge fundraising packs which includes a beanie hat and booklet printed professionally in-house.

All veterans living on the village are provided with a tailored welfare support programme to help them regain their independence and overcome challenges caused by physical or mental disability, drug or alcohol dependency, and unemployment.

William said: “I wanted to do this challenge as I know what it is like living on the street as for a part of my life I was homeless and living on the streets, I suffer from depression and anxiety and till this date I still suffer from this.

"I have family and friends that are now veterans and suffer from PTSD and with PTSD it can be hard to hold down a job and keep a roof over their heads so to see that there is a charity out there helping vets, I had to take up the challenge as no matter what I make for them will help."

To support William as he takes part in RBLI’s Great Tommy Sleep Out click here.

For more information about the challenge, click here.

Source: Northamptonshire Telegraph