The Military Army Blog

Isle of Wight pulls together to help homeless soldier

Following on from the incredible generosity shown by Islanders in the Collection for Calais[1] last week, the Isle of Wight community has pulled together once again. This time to help Paul Wright, an ex parachute regiment soldier, who has been homeless in West Sussex for the last year. A news report by BBC South Today sparked interest from a former Sandown resident, Sara May, who moved off the Island due to the ferry prices, but had kept her home here.

Appeal for help
On Saturday, Sara posted an appeal to Linda Bassett s Isle of Wight Community Info Facebook Page[2], explaining she d arranged for the homeless ex-serviceman to move into her empty property in Sandown and asked whether any Islanders had a spare washing machine and vacuum cleaner.

As is often the way, Islanders responded in their droves. Not only were they able to quickly offer a free washing machine and vacuum cleaner, but also offers came in for a microwave, fridge, bedding, kitchen utensils etc. The outpouring of generosity was amazing to watch.

More help needed
Linda Bassett is also co-ordinating any further donations for Paul, who arrived on the Island at the weekend not knowing a soul here. There are three drop-off points across the Island for anyone wishing to donate food items, toiletries, cleaning stuff, etc.

The bedroom is in need of a carpet (any carpet companies out there willing to donate?) and the garden needs a lawn mower if anyone can donate. Shanklin: Until 5pm Wednesday Clarendon Laundry, 19/21 Clarendon Road drop off between 8.30am to 5.00pm Mon-Fri. Newport: 45 Hogan Close, PO30 5UF Newport tinned goods, dog food, non-perishables/towels, crockery, cutlery, cleaning items etc.

Ryde: 20a Lower Highland Road, PO33 1DX. (Looks like a back entrance but is front up the long path)

According to Sara, Paul loves to paint, so if anyone is able to offer any art materials to help him get back into expressing his creativity that would be wonderful.

Read the comments
If you re a member of the Isle of Wight Community Group you can read Sara May s thank you post[3] and the original post[4] which shows the outpouring of help from Islanders. Sara also runs No Limb its[5], a non-profit special needs rescue organisation based in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, helping animals from both the UK and abroad. Three cheers to all who have helped Paul over the last couple of days, especially Sara May and Linda Bassett.

BBC report
Follow the link below to see the BBC coverage of Paul s story last week.

A new home for former soldier Paul Wright[6]

Amazing news for former soldier Paul Wright who’d been living in a caravan on a lay-by in West Sussex. As we told you last week Paul had been told his caravan would be destroyed, leaving him with nowhere to live. But since BBC South Today highlighted his situation, help has emerged and he now has a new home. Ben Moore has been back to see Paul. Thank you to everyone for your offers of help and support

Posted by BBC South Today[7] on Monday, 14 September 2015


  1. ^ Collection for Calais (
  2. ^ Isle of Wight Community Group appeal for help (
  3. ^ Isle of Wight Community Group thank you post (
  4. ^ Isle of Wight Community Group appeal for help (
  5. ^ No Limb’its (
  6. ^ A new home for former soldier Paul Wright (
  7. ^ BBC South Today (

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