Ex-soldier’s £39,000 boost for Help for Heroes

John Houston, left, and treasurer of the Iona Social Club Tommy Bamford.
John Houston, left, and treasurer of the Iona Social Club Tommy Bamford.

A former soldier who served in Northern Ireland has put his fundraising talents into practice to raise almost £40,000 for an armed forces charity.

John Houston kickstarted his fundraising venture for Help for Heroes in 2010 after receiving backing from Hebburn’s Iona Club.

Mr Houston has raised the money for Help for Heroes.

Mr Houston has raised the money for Help for Heroes.

Since then, he has raised thousands for the charity which supports injured service personnel by hosting a night at the venue in Station Road, dedicated to the cause each year.

His latest event held on October 27 raised £6,100 making the total raised over the past seven years, £39.287.25.

The money is raised through a night of entertainment, supported for the past three years by North East trio ‘Betcha By Golly Wow’, the sale of domino cards and raffles.

Mr Houston who served as a rifleman with the Royal Green Jackets said: “I am an ex-soldier myself, serving in Northern Ireland and Cyprus.

We must continue to show we are committed to standing alongside them as they rebuild their lives with our support.

John Houston

“Over the years, I have seen soldiers coming back with injuries. Then in 2010 I decided I wanted to do something for a charity.

“I thought I’ll just have one and see how it goes, it went pretty well so I decided to have another one, then it become something everyone looked forward to.”

This year’s total was further boosted with the help of James and Shaunagh from the Greyhound pub in Hedworth Lane, Jarrow.

The pub raised £1,250.50 from a charity night held in July.

John added: “Recovery for our servicemen and women who have suffered a life changing injury or illness while serving our country is long and complex.

“We must continue to show we are committed to standing alongside them as they rebuild their lives with our support.

“I’d like to thank James and Shaunagh of the Greyhound also, patrons of Iona Club, local shops and stores for their continued support.”