The Great Tommy Sleep Out: Gosport veteran takes on challenge in aid of the Royal British Legion Industries

A Gosport veteran, who was once homeless, has taken on a challenge to sleep rough for two days in order to raise money for an armed forces charity.
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Adrian Palmer, 41, from Gosport, took part in The Great Tommy Sleep Out, where participants sleep rough to raise awareness of homeless military veterans, from Friday March 22 to Sunday, March 24. The event is held throughout March and is in aid of the Royal British Legion Industries. Adrian set himself up in Leigh-on-the-Solent High Street to raise additional cash before heading into the woods with no food and only the bare essentials on hand.

Adrian was drawn to taking part in the challenge due to his personal experience. He said: "I'm an ex military veteran myself and I suffer from PTSD. I was homeless for a little while and I lived in a disused warehouse, so it is quite close to my heart. I just think building this awareness up for people to understand there are so many military veterans on the street. They just need help to get along and hopefully get them off the street, give them pride and something else they want to do with themselves."

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Having raised £100 in cash on Lee-on-the-Solent High Street, the weekend sleeping rough went smoothly for Adrian as he was able to forage for a number of different foods. He said: "I went down to the beach and foraged some foliage, oysters and periwinkles so I had enough to eat. The periwinkles, I was a bit dubious of at first but they were really nice and really sweet, I'll eat them again that's for sure."

While his dog kept him company for the weekend there was another visitor which stayed with him for the final night: "My wife and youngest daughter, Kourtney, came to visit me and my daughter decided to stay with me for the second night and she absolutely loved it." It was an experience that Adrian enjoyed and he is already looking ahead to increasing the challenge later on in the year. He said: "I have done nothing like this since I left the military, and apart from being homeless I have not done anything like this before. I just wanted to give it a go. I am hoping to do a week long one later in the year." Adrian's fundraising page can be found here.

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