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Homeless army veteran volunteers to work on Covid-19 frontline

A British Army veteran has put himself on the frontline of a hospital ICU ward which looks after patients with coronavirus.

Anton Newcombe who works at Frimley Park Hospital in Camberley as a porter, said:

I was already working in the hospital as a porter and I heard that they needed someone to work on the ICU ward which looks after Covid-19 patients, but they had no response, so I volunteered for the role.

I’m wearing high level PPE kit as I’m working in close contact with patients suffering from the coronavirus, cleaning around the beds and all the surfaces, as well as making sure they are wearing their face masks. I wanted to help during this crisis, it gives me a sense of fulfilment of giving back and looking after the elderly.

It is also keeping me stimulated during lockdown and has given me an awful lot of pride, constantly trying to keep the virus from spreading by cleaning the same things over and over where people would touch.

Anton, 23, from Yorkshire, cycles 14 miles for every shift at work from where he lives at Mike Jackson House in Aldershot, a supported housing accommodation for veterans’ who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, which is run by housing provider Riverside.⠀

Anton, who is due to return to the army later this year, added:

I was undergoing training with the Infantry in Catterick Garrison before the outbreak but decided I wanted to transfer to the Royal Logistics Corps instead. But then the outbreak came and stalled my transfer so I’m at Mike Jackson House until I can resume training again with the new regiment.

Until then, I’m pleased to be to give back to the elderly that founded our future and to help people less capable and most vulnerable.

Riverside is the third largest provider of homelessness services in the country, and its Care and Support operation works with over 16,000 customers every year.

 Image credit: Riverside

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