Veteran Chris Jepson to raise funds for ex-military sleeping rough by camping in public
A VETERAN who completed tours of Northern Ireland and Bosnia has pledged to raise money for ex-military men and women sleeping rough on the streets by pitching his own tent in public.
Chris Jepson (57) said he had been in the military for 15 years and described the experience as “like one big family”.
Chris, of Wickersley, pictured, added he had been deployed all around the world and wanted to help “brothers and sisters who have fallen on hard times”.
The ex-squaddie decided to camp out last year to raise money as part of the Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) annual fundraising event and will repeat the feat in March.
“There are 6,000 military veterans currently living on the streets in the UK,” he said.
“It’s all about raising awareness and much-needed funds to try and get military men and women off the streets and back to accommodation and employment.
“Last year, there were 10,000 of us who did this nationwide and raised just shy of £350,000.”
Chris will pitch his tent up in a field on the Listerdale Estate — between Springfield Road and Rosemary Road — over the weekend of March 17 to 19.
He added: “My target last year was £1,000 and I raised £2,600. I set the initial target to £1,000 again because of the cost of living but I’m trying to push myself and stretch the goal.”
Chris said veterans did not get enough respect for the job they carried out, adding: “To a lot of people, they just see it as a job but at the end of the day, people put their lives on the line to defend this country when others are sat back at home.
“I think veterans are overlooked.”
You can support Chris and other ex-military men and women by donating at https://tinyurl.com/chrisfundraising.