Eight ex-forces veterans from East Lancashire will be giving up their beds for a night to raise awareness of veteran homelessness.

The Great Tommy Sleep Out will take place on the green opposite the war memorial in Barnoldswick on Saturday night (March 23) to raise money for the Royal British Legion Industries and draw attention to the fact there are an estimated 6,000 homeless veterans in the UK.

Mark Dunstan is one of the veterans taking part in the sleep out and he said this is their first time taking part though they are looking to do it every year.

Lancashire Telegraph: The war memorial in Wellhouse Road, BarnoldswickThe war memorial in Wellhouse Road, Barnoldswick (Image: Google Maps)

He said: “I will be joining seven other ex-forces veterans when we will be swapping our beds for sleeping bags and tents for the night.

“We are coming together to support each other as members of the veterans group; to put ourselves at a little discomfort for one night to support fellow veterans who are less fortunate than us and are often sleeping outside without a choice.

“The Great Tommy Sleep Out is an annual, national event, but this is our first time joining in, and we are looking forward to making this an annual event.”

Pendle Borough Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Cllr Kevin Slater, added: “This is a great event and cause that we naturally want to support. Providing these veterans with somewhere to carry out their fundraising event is our way of doing our bit to help.

"The Great Tommy Sleep Out is a fundraising challenge that is designed to support ex-service personnel who find themselves without a roof over their head. People who take part sleep outside for as many nights as they want to, in a tent or directly beneath the stars.

Lancashire Telegraph: Cllr Kevin Slater, Pendle Council's Armed Forces ChampionCllr Kevin Slater, Pendle Council's Armed Forces Champion (Image: Pendle Council)

“The event 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 money raised will help to pay for emergency accommodation, welfare and healthcare support, employment training and work experience to help vulnerable veterans on the road to independence after leaving the Armed Forces.”

To sponsor these West Craven veterans, visit www.justgiving.com/team/WestCravenVeterans