A CONWY veteran spent a night sleeping outside in Llandudno this week, raising more than £1,000 for homeless veterans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in doing so.

Charlie Cordell, a recently-retired former member of the Royal Artillery, took part in Royal British Legion Industries’ (RBLI) “Great Tommy Sleep Out” along with fellow veteran Marcus Williams (ex-Royal Welsh) on Tuesday (March 22).

This UK-wide, month-long fundraiser challenge involves participants braving the cold for one night in March to support the approximately 6,000 military veterans living on the streets in the UK.

Charlie and Marcus also spent much of Tuesday afternoon on Llandudno’s Mostyn Street and on the promenade collecting donations, before spending the night sleeping in the bandstand on the prom.

More than 11,500 people have already signed up to the challenge, with all proceeds going directly to helping RBLI provide support to veterans.


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Charlie said: “People were very generous; it was really well-received and positive. We were given fish and chips, and breakfast in the morning, and cups of coffee and generous donations.

“I’ve recently retired, and the colleague who joined me retired a few years ago, so it’s a while since either of us slept out.

“I feel lucky that, as a veteran, I’ve come home. Many people are injured or have lost limbs; I have my own experiences, but I’m not traumatised - very many people are, and I’m lucky enough to come back to my family home.

“I’m very aware that many veterans struggle with the change if they don’t pick up a job quickly.

“They go from being in a very valued organisation, doing serious stuff, to being a small fish in a very large pond. If they don’t pick up something, it can go very wrong.

“What can happen is that they think they know how to sleep rough, and can do that for a few days, but that turns into a few weeks and months. That’s very difficult to get out of.

“Homeless veterans is something I feel strongly about, but there are 6,000 (of them, approximately) and that’s a lot of people.”

With donations still able to be made, the £1,021 currently received for Charlie and Marcus’ challenge far exceeds the £600 target Charlie hoped to reach.

Charlie also thanked Conwy County Borough Council, Conwy Harbour Office, North Wales Police, Ty Llewelyn Community Centre, ClwydAlyn Housing Association, Chish’n’Fips, and the Tyndale, Merrion and Imperial Hotels for their support, as well as all those who donated.

The JustGiving page remains open for those who still wish to support at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/charles-cordell.

For more on the RBLI, go to: www.rbli.co.uk.