An ex-soldier who will soon join Churchill Security has pledged to help raise £5,000 for the Royal British Legion for homeless ex-service personnel.
Leon Parker will hike 69 miles from the Wirral to Snowdon in under 36 hours, with his fellow ex-serviceman Simon Parker and Mel Pengelly of Pengelly Young.
When Leon returned to the UK after serving in the army, he was left without a job or a home.
He ended-up living on the streets, along with his dog Misty, until the Royal British Legion helped him by paying a deposit for a place to live and provided some furniture to start him off.
Speaking of his experience, he said, “I was at a real low point in my life, and without the support of my friends and the Royal British Legion, I dread to think what might have happened.”
Managing Director Mat Cook said of his first meeting with Leon, “When I met Leon in person and he told me in his own words what he had endured, I had a repeated voice in my head that asked “Why”?
“I instantly challenged myself and asked if I could make a difference, not only for Leon but for anyone in difficult circumstances similar or same. It was at that point that I decided that I, just like Mel, must do what I can to influence a change of circumstances for Leon and others where possible.”
Churchill have offered to pay for his training and SIA Security license to enable him to work for us.
We are eager to offer the same support to other homeless veterans in similar circumstances anywhere in the UK.
Leon said, “We’re all really keen to try and raise funds now to help other ex-service personnel who find themselves in a similar situation to my own. It’s amazing to think that just by buying a poppy, you can make such a difference to real lives, but that’s what happened to me.”
Security consultant Mel Pengelly of Pengelly Young came up with the idea for the Wirral to Snowdon hike. His company are also sponsoring the event along with the Hillbark Hotel in Frankby, where the event will kick-off on May 18th at 6am.
Mel said, “As someone with a security background and has always worked with ex-military personnel within the security industry, I’m acutely aware of the challenges that often face veterans when they leave the armed forces. The work of the Royal British Legion in helping my comrade was exemplary and I just felt the need to pay them back in some way.”
The trio aim to raise £5,000 for the Royal British Legion, with other veterans showing their support on the day including ex-Signals, a Ghurkha and medics.
Churchill Security will provide high-vis vests to everyone taking part and support staff at the 36-hour event.
The Hillbark Hotel will be hosting a Pasta Party the night before, as well as breakfast, and will supply food along the way.
For more information about how to donate to the Royal British Legion hike, visit the Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/britishlegiontab