Veteran walking from Weston-super-Mare to London

Image of Jonathan Farrelly and Lee Jennings
Lee Jennings (left) with Jonathan Farrelly (right) set off from Weston-super-Mare on Sunday morning

An ex-serviceman is fundraising for a football match to raise awareness of homelessness amongst veterans.

Jonathan Farrelly and his friend Lee Jennings set off on a 150-mile (241 km) walk from Weston-super-Mare to London this morning. It will take them six days to reach their destination.

The pair will be sleeping rough for the duration of the challenge.

The money they raise will go towards staging a football match for veterans around the world, said Mr Farrelly.

"There's a lot of people out there who deserve a second chance", he said.

Along with 30 other ex-servicemen and women, Mr Farrelly plans to put on the "biggest sporting event ever" for the veteran community.

On 4 May 2025, the group will play football at Woking Football Club's grounds, in aid of their "brothers and sisters" who need support.

Revenue from the match will be donated to causes that help veterans facing homelessness, said Mr Farrelly.

In order to stage the match, he is hoping to raise £500,000 to pay for the travel, accommodation and food of all participants through various fundraising challenges. The walk is the first fundraiser.

'Judgement'

"It matters to me because I got a second chance in life back in 2013," Mr Farrelly said.

"I think there's a lot of judgement around people who are on the streets.

"People don't tend to really care about why they're there - they just see that they're there and like to kind of shy away from it."

Mr Farrelly, who served in Afghanistan, said he had previously experienced homelessness "through [his] own choice", with the most recent time in 2023.

The 35-year-old is currently working with local plasterer and friend, Peter Sugg.

'Help each other'

Mr Sugg said: "I'm ex-service and I've lost a few friends through suicide because they were homeless so everything that he's doing is just a massive tick in the box.

"If you're living on the street, you got nothing to look forward to, because you don't know what you're doing the next day, or where you're sleeping.

"So as you're coming out the services it's very important to get a job, you know, and get on with civilians as best you can and you know, help each other."

The route will take Mr Farrelly and Mr Jennings through Somerset, Wiltshire and Berkshire before they finish at Wellington Barracks in London.


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