Aberdeen boxing champ Lee McAllister aims to help veterans get off the streets

Boxer Lee McAllister, left, wants to tackle homelessness.

An Aberdeen boxer has become the first patron of a charity dedicated to helping veterans get off the streets.

Boxing champion Lee McAllister is supporting Soldiers Off The Street Scotland, an entirely volunteer-run charity.

It will be opening a shop in Fraserburgh on March 12 to help the group tackle homelessness in the region.

Joyce MacMillan, a fundraiser and support worker at the charity, used to serve in the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps as a nursing stewardess.

She said: “I work with soldiers on the streets. I’ve been homeless twice myself so I know what it’s like from both sides.

“I work closely with the police in Fraserburgh and with veterans themselves.”

Mr McAllister, known as the Aberdeen Assassin, became involved with the charity after being contacted by Joyce.

The champion said: “These people are fighting for our country and they come back, and because they’re so regimented, they don’t ask for any help.

“We want to raise awareness about it and how ex-soldiers are treated.”

Volunteers took to the streets yesterday to search for homeless people to help, which they will continue to do, taking bags of toiletries and sleeping bags to those in need.

One of the volunteers, Alf Appleby, a former infantry man, was helped by the charity after he walked from Doncaster to Fraserburgh – a journey which took him four weeks to complete.

He said: “I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and when it strikes, you may as well chop my head off.

“My military training takes over, I just have to walk.

“I’ve been here two years now and the charity helped me pay a month’s rent, they paid a bond up front and that was all done within eight hours of me arriving in Fraserburgh, so I’m just trying to pay back some of the things they’ve given me.

“It’s heartbreaking when you see people sat on the street corners begging where they can’t get any help. I just want to try and make a difference.”