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Posted on Feb 22 2022 by Fiona Bailey

A former British Army soldier is abandoning his bed for the night in a bid to raise money for homeless veterans across the country.

Paul Ford, who is currently the Acting Security Team Leader at St Andrew’s, has planned to sleep outside at the Northampton hospital site.

He is doing it on behalf of the Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) as part of the Great Tommy Sleep Out campaign and is hoping he will raise lots of money for the charity.

Armed with a sleeping bag and as many warm clothes as he can put on, Paul will be attempting to sleep on the front lawn by the Main Building on Friday, March 11, from 1800hrs and 0800hrs.

He said: “I had the honour to serve alongside some fantastic men and women from all ranks throughout my military career. They become your family and you would do anything for them.

“But, sadly when people leave or retire, things don’t always go to plan and many ex-service personnel end up living on the streets. This can be for multiple reasons, but very often, their mental health and PTSD issues might be linked to their circumstances.

“I believe there are at least 16,000 homeless veterans and this is unacceptable, which is why I’ve decided to ditch my nice warm bed for the night and take part in this challenge. Not only do I want to raise money towards helping someone, but I think it would be useful to remind myself – and anybody else who may choose to join me – just how lucky we are to have warm, safe homes.

“We all take so much for granted and very often a lot of us forget that there are people who served to protect and fight for this country living on the streets.”

Money raised by the Great Tommy Sleep Out is used to help support the UK’s most vulnerable veterans. The RBLI uses the funds to provide safe homes and support for former soldiers and personnel, helping to get them back on their feet.

Every penny goes towards the campaign and even a small donation of £2 is enough to provide personal protective equipment for an individual.

Paul is hoping to raise at least £250 which will be used to provide fresh bedding, clothes and support and training to help someone restart their employment journey again.

Paul added: “To be able to raise £250 would go a long way to helping just a few of those brave and honourable men and women that have served our country. To be able to raise more would be amazing, so please dig deep everyone and give what you can.”

If anyone would like to join Paul’s sleep out they need to register online on the RBLI website.

To sponsor Paul, click here.