Former SAS soldier takes part in boxing bout in aid of Sunderland veterans
A former SAS soldier is helping fellow veterans from his home city by taking part in a prestigious charity boxing night.
Derek Gamblin, 52, hopes to raise at least Â£3,000 for Veterans in Crisis Sunderland (VICS) when he takes part in Remembrance Rumble III next month.
The money will be used to provide everyday items such as clothing, food and furniture for former servicemen and women settling back into civilian life on Wearside.
Now an established annual event in aid of military charities, Remembrance Rumble III is organised by author Phil Campion, Derek's former D Squadron 22 SAS colleague.
Derek, who grew up in the Farringdon and Grindon areas of the city, said: "I personally am using this event to raise awareness for veterans that need help transitioning into everyday life, or who just need help and support, and, being Sunderland born and bred, Veterans In Crisis Sunderland seemed the obvious choice for me as a charity."
Married with two grown up children, the former Broadway Comprehensive School pupil has praised the work carried out by VICS founder Ger Fowler and full-time volunteer Chris Batty, who was helped by the community interest company earlier this year when he encountered mental health issues.
Derek, now a self-employed logistics manager living in Dubai, said: "The work that Ger and Chris do at VICS is brilliant but they always need funds to carry on their amazing work.
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"A little goes a long way to help a veteran in crisis."
Among the areas of the world Derek served in with the SAS were Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone.
Former soldier Ger, who has helped more than 70 veterans since VICS was founded in its current guise earlier this year, said: "It's great that a local lad has remembered his home town and it also shows how far Veterans in Crisis in Sunderland is reaching."
Remembrance Rumble III takes place at Brighton Metropole on Friday, November 9, at the start of Remembrance Weekend, with tickets costing Â£45 available online at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/remembrance-rumble-3-tickets-45688891705.
Online donations for Derek's appeal can be via Just Giving at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/chris-batty
VICS can be contacted on (07398) 916590.