Posted: 10 June, 2020 at 2:10 pm

John’s 20-mile exercise challenge to help homeless veterans

John Healey is leading his Labour shadow defence ministers to team up with steel union Community and raise funds for homeless veterans.

Over 70 members of the union’s staff, volunteers and Members of Parliament will be taking part in a run, walk or cycle challenge. Between them they will travel over 1,000 miles up to Armed Forces Day (27 June), as part of a campaign to end veteran homelessness.

Despite the Covid-19 lockdown, the politicians have been keen to contribute their regular exercise to a good cause. Shadow Defence Secretary and Wentworth & Dearne MP John Healey has pledged to do his bit with a 5-mile run and 15-mile static bike ride. He is joined by Shadow Defence Ministers in Parliament, who with John lead for the Labour Party on defence. Together the team of politicians will complete over 50 miles in exercise challenges.

The politicians are being given a run for their money by staff in their Parliamentary offices, who will complete a further 195 miles in runs, walks, and cycles.

MP John Healey said:

“I’m proud Labour’s Shadow Defence Ministers are doing our bit to back Britain’s homeless veterans. We owe our armed forces so much. They keep us safe, so it’s right we do all we can to support them when they leave the forces.

“Too many ex-military men and women are being let down by Government, and mainstream services often fail our veterans when they need them most. Specialist charities like FirstLight Trust are a lifeline in helping veterans through this Covid crisis and beyond, so Labour’s defence team are delighted to be part of this great fundraising initiative by Community union.”

Melantha Chittenden, ending veteran homelessness project lead at Community, said:

“While the coronavirus continues to dominate our lives, it’s important that we remember those who are most severely affected. One of those groups of people is the homeless, who have less access to sanitation, and who are much less likely to have somewhere safe and comfortable to see through the lockdown or to be able to self-isolate when sick.

“We need to make sure that the local charities that do this work on a day to day basis have the funds to be able to continue.”

“We’re pleased to be able to join together and do our bit to help a charity that is doing excellent work on the ground to support homeless veterans throughout this crisis and beyond.”

Fundraising link and further information here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/communitytu