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Gnosall councillor's rough night highlights homeless soldier problem

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: November 07, 2012

ROUGH NIGHT ... Gnosall Parish Councillor Paul Boston, pictured with SARH neighbourhood support officer Katherine Hindmarsh, spent a night sleeping on the streets to raise awareness of homeless ex-military personnel.

ROUGH NIGHT ... Gnosall Parish Councillor Paul Boston, pictured with SARH neighbourhood support officer Katherine Hindmarsh, spent a night sleeping on the streets to raise awareness of homeless ex-military personnel.

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AN EX-SERVICEMAN and Gnosall Parish Councillor spent a night on the streets sleeping rough to highlight the plight of former members of the armed forces who become homeless.

Councillor Paul Boston, bedded down for the night in the doorway of Gnosall Memorial Hall to raise public awareness over the issue in the run up to Remembrance Day on Sunday.

Paul served abroad on several tours of duty with NATO during a 16-year career in the army and chose the spot for its significance as a memorial to those that fought and died during the First World War.

He said he knew first hand how hard it could be to reacclimatise to society after spending so much time in the military.

“It is really tough when you come out of the services,” he said. “You leave a very orderly environment, where you manage to function despite any trauma you may have experienced on active duty.

“When you leave, many people flounder – they no longer have a sense of purpose and don’t know how to access services which can help them in their new lives.”

Paul, a customer of Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH), decided to spend the night sleeping rough after attending an SARH event which highlighted the work the organisation was doing to help better provide for former military personnel.

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