Graham next to his tent, with Union Jack flag draped on top.Swapping our home comforts for a night outdoors under canvas may not be an idea that appeals to everyone.

Graham, one of our Regional Employer Engagement Directors, did just that, pitching a tent to sleep outdoors and raise vital funds for a military charity.

Organised by the Royal British Legion Industries charity, the Great Tommy Sleep Out runs annually each March to fundraise for the estimated 6,000 veterans across the UK who are homeless. Whilst the challenge doesn’t replicate rough sleeping, it gives participants an idea of the situations and problems that are faced by thousands of ex-service personnel.

Being a forces child himself and therefore having first-hand experience and an understanding of the importance of our Armed Forces, Graham is always looking to give back to the Armed Forces community. After wanting to do the sleep out for some time he took the plunge and signed up for the challenge.

Graham said about the experience: “The hardest part of the challenge was finding somewhere that was safe to camp out – and it did drop pretty cold temperature wise overnight. I have camped many times before when I was younger as a Cadet, but I haven’t done anything like this for years.”

As well as raising funds from the sleep out, a raffle was held to help increase extra funds towards his target of £1000.

Some of Grahams kit - hat, jacket and flag.When asked if he had advice for anyone else thinking of taking part in the Great Tommy Sleep Out, Graham added: “Just do it – you only regret what you don’t do.  It’s really important to me to give back, and do things for others.”

If you would like to learn more about Graham’s challenge visit his Just Giving page.

Find out more about the work of our Association and how we support veterans and Service leavers.


Published 11/04/2024