A GROUP of local people braved the cold and wet weather to get involved in the Royal British Legion's sleepout for homeless veterans.

On Saturday, March 18, thousands of people joined the Royal British Legion's 'Great Tommy Sleep Out' to raise funds and awareness of homeless veterans, including 24 people who camped out in tents at Hope View Sensory Farm in Astley.

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Leigh Journal: 24 people got involved in the fundraising event and raised around £170024 people got involved in the fundraising event and raised around £1700 (Image: Jenny Moore)

With around 6000 veterans experiencing homelessness, and often suffering with mental illness such as PTSD, the Lioness MCC female motorcycle club organised the Astley event to support the national campaign.

It is particularly important to the group as they have members who have served or have family members who have served in the Armed Forces.

Jenny Moore, who served in the Army for 12 years and fought in the Gulf War, said: "There was about 24 of us that camped in tents or cars [on the sleep out].

"It was a cold and very wet night, but knowing we only had one night to do reminded us that we had a choice that many homeless veterans don’t."

With the fundraising going towards helping homeless veterans find safe housing and employment, the group raised around £1700 through their sleep out.

They were also supported by local companies, Harrison funeral services in Tyldesley and Meat Mart in Astley.

Leigh Journal: Jenny and Christine at the sleep outJenny and Christine at the sleep out (Image: Jenny Moore)

Christine Dickenson, who helped to organise the event, added: "It was a really lovely event. It was cold and wet but we had food and the fire going, and it was just lovely to bring everyone together and celebrate the veterans."

Using the Hope View Sensory Farm as a hub, which usually offers people living with dementia a day out in a relaxing environment, Christine said that the Great Tommy Sleep Out has become an annual event to support veterans struggling with homelessness.

Jenny said she will organise further charity events to raise money for the Royal British Legion, which is close to her heart.

To support the group's efforts for the Royal British Legion, you can donate to their fundraiser here.