Bus driver to “sleep out” to help heroes

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A bus driver at a major Spalding bus operator is set to sleep under the stars for a night in a bid to raise much needed funds to help military veterans who have been forced to sleep rough.

Robert Cook, himself a former Service Veteran with the Coldstream Guards and a Driver at Stagecoach East, will take on the challenge to raise money and awareness of the fact that estimated 6,000 veterans are experiencing homelessness in the UK right now.

Robert said: “Nobody would say that the challenge exactly replicates the experience of sleeping rough, but it is still a challenge to do. I feel so strongly about the fate of so many people who have given their all to serve and protect our country, and who are now facing the consequences of that decision.

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“It is easy to become disillusioned and think that nothing can be done to help these veterans, but we can all do our bit, so it is good to make a positive step to help out.”

Robert Cook with a Stagecoach East busRobert Cook with a Stagecoach East bus
Robert Cook with a Stagecoach East bus

The Great Tommy Sleep Out campaign is run throughout March by the Royal British Legion Industries, a national charity. Since 1919 they have provided crucial accommodation, welfare and employment support to injured veterans and people with disabilities.

Veterans are supported at Stagecoach by the employee-led Veterans Network. The network was launched to allow Stagecoach colleagues to come together as one voice to make change, raise awareness, help influence business decisions and introduce new ways of working to make the company even stronger.

Stagecoach has also been a member of the Armed Forces Covenant since March 2015. Recently, the operator was awarded Silver by the Armed Forces covenant for its commitment to the community. The Covenant recognises the value of serving personnel, regular and reservists, veterans and military families to both the country and businesses across the country.

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Darren Roe, Managing Director of Stagecoach East, added: “We all owe a debt of gratitude to those who put themselves forward to defend our freedoms and way of living, and so we are very proud of Robert for taking on this challenge and hope that significant funds will be raised to help the vital work done by Royal British Legion Industries.”

Robert Cook gets ready to sleep outRobert Cook gets ready to sleep out
Robert Cook gets ready to sleep out