Sleeping out to support veterans on the streets

A FORMER soldier has completed two days of wild camping campaigning in support of homeless veterans.

Christopher Jepson (57), an ex-veteran of 15 years has been working to help those in need.

He and friend William Adamson took part in the Great Tommy Sleep Out campaign by camping at Springfield Quarry in Wickersley for two nights as temperatures dropped as low as -3 deg C overnight.

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Chris said he wanted to help end homelessness in the UK for servicemen and women and believes they are not getting the help and support that they deserve.

“I’ve done it to raise awareness for the 6,000 servicemen and women who are homeless in the United Kingdom,” added Chris, of Black Carr Road, Wickersley.

“It’s very important to me, as I am an ex-veteran myself and spent 15 years in the army.

“I think that these people are not getting much help and support.

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“This is the second year that I have done it to raise funds and awareness for the cause.”

Chris added that he enjoyed the experience, but dealing with the feeling of loneliness was tough.

He added: “I enjoyed the experience, but the hardest part of it was dealing with the loneliness.

“It’s sad that this is all these people have to look forward to every day.

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“It feels as though you have no purpose and you're just existing.

“I can understand why people in this situation would turn to substance or alcohol abuse.

“I can understand why some have taken their lives.

“The hardest part for me was knowing that after this I would be going home to my wife and my dog as well as living in a nice home.”

Chris managed to raise more than £2,014 for the RBLI charity by camping over the two nights and contributed to the overall UK total which stands at £302,000 — double the amount raised in the year before.


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