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Blog | Elgin Scouts fundraise for homeless veterans
06/04/2021 By Website Admin

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Some members of 2nd Elgin Scout Group took on the challenge to raise money for homeless veterans across the UK as they made their own shelters for a sleep-out challenge. 16 members including young people, volunteers and some keen parents took part in the Great Tommy Sleep Out, run by Royal British Legion Industries, throughout March.

Their original goal was to raise £150 through a JustGiving Fundraiser page but they soon knocked that figure out of the park, with a whopping £470 donated to the charity! The group took to the challenge after one of the local volunteers, Lee Kirkpatrick, was inspired after hearing one of his friends had recently completed the challenge with his family.

He thought it would be a great way to engage the Scouts online and keep them going through a difficult time, while also making a difference to a worthwhile cause. The money raised will enable RBLI’s continued support of veterans, more specifically for those with disabilities and those veterans who face issues with homelessness.

Many of the people they support, unfortunately, are living in precarious housing, or are ‘sofa surfing’, as a result of breakdowns in family relations or financial difficulties after returning to civilian life. RBLI also supports veterans who struggle with a range of other issues such as those living with physical disabilities and mental health conditions.

Lee said the youngsters were eager to get involved from the get-go, so they could do their bit to support other people alongside some enthusiastic parents joining in the fun by sleeping outside with the young people on the mild nights. Lee added that: "The challenge to the Scouts was simple; it's cold, it's dark, it's wet. Can you last the night and help homeless ex-servicemen and women?"

On top of their amazing fundraising achievement, 2nd Elgin Scout Group have continued to deliver fun and excitement of Scouting activities through young people’s computer screens over the lockdown. Through local volunteers keeping it going, this support has helped young people’s wellbeing during the pandemic, by delivering some action packed virtual activities.

There is now light at the end of the tunnel, following updated guidance from the Scottish Government and Youthlink, with the Scout Movement announcing a return to face to face activities.

To begin with, this will be held at outdoors with a greatly reduced capacity, as Scout Groups across Scotland will follow a gradual phrased return to a form of normality. 2nd Elgin Scout Group look forward to resuming their own activities after the Easeter holidays.

Although the original fundraiser from the Elgin Scouts is now closed due to JustGiving rules, you may still donate to the Royal British Legion Industries if you wish on their webpage.