How Stean Gorge sleep out to raise money for armed forces
Last updated Feb 11, 2024
How Stean Gorge's camping area

How Stean Gorge is taking part in the Royal British Legion Industries’ Great Tommy Sleep Out on March 9. 

The fundraising initiative, which takes place at locations across the country in March, challenges people to sleep beneath the stars.

An estimated 6,000 veterans are currently homeless in the UK, and the challenge hopes to raise funds to provide them a safe space to call home. Each participants is encouraged to raise £150 for the cause.

How Stean Gorge, an outdoor adventure centre near Pateley Bridge, is offering one night’s free camping to those taking part. Tickets can be booked here.

Tony Liddy, director of How Stean Gorge, said: 

“The event has quite a big involvement throughout the country so if we can be helpful in providing a location – that’s great.

“We are just trying to be helpful and we are not usually busy in March so we posted the event across the socials and have had a positive response with people thanking us for hosting.”

On the day itself, How Stean Gorge will serve food in its cafe till 7pm and the bar will be open late for the England V Ireland Six Nations rugby match

How Stean Gorge’s camping area

The challenge does not aim to replicate rough sleeping but give people an idea of the situation many veterans find themselves in. 

RBLI chief executive Lisa Farmer, said:

“The Great Tommy Sleep Out is a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made by servicemen and women who find themselves without a home when they return to civilian life.”

The RBLI provides emergency accommodation which offers welfare and healthcare support, as well as employment training and work experience to help veterans gain independence after leaving the forces. 

The Royal British Legion is separate from the RBLI but the two organisations have a shared ethos of supporting the armed forces community. 

The challenge’s name — Tommy — is derived from the slang Tommy Atkins, which became a generic term for British soldiers.

People can sign up either individually or as a group via the RBLI website.

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