AN ex-soldier saved from life on the streets is taking part in a hiking challenge this weekend for the charity that helped him.

Leon Parker and Simon Parker will set off from Wirral to Snowdon in North Wales in aid of the Royal British Legion on Saturday - and they need Globe readers' help with fundraising.

Their epic journey starts at Hillbark Hotel in Frankby at 6am that day. Leon and Simon will be supported by other veterans including ex-Signals, a Ghurkha and medics.

Royal British Legion standard bearers will be posted along the route to give the fundraisers encouragement and the two aim to raise up to £3,000 for the Legion's Heswall District Poppy Appeal.

Leon and Simon served in the army together, but when they left service Leon was unable to find a job and ended up living on the streets for three years, along with his dog Misty.

The Legion stepped in to help him find a place to live, paid his deposit on a property in Birkenhead and provided some furniture to start him off.

Although it is only the beginning, Leon now has a new life, new friends, new career and hopes to see his daughter who he hasn't seen in nearly a year.

He said: "I was at a real low point in my life, and without the support of my friends and the Royal British Legion, I dread to think what might have happened.

"We want to raise funds to help other ex-service personnel who find themselves in a similar situation to my own.

"It's amazing to think that just by buying a poppy, you can make such a difference to real lives, but that’s what happened to me."

There will be other veterans following the duo along the way, including ex-Signals, a Ghurkha and medical back-up.

They will be given an escort by Cloud 9 Scooter Club when they reach Ruthin Craft Centre in North Wales 2.30-3pm.

At the summit of Snowdon, the veterans will lay a wreath and hold a minute's silence to remember fallen veterans.

Hillbark Hotel are supporting the event by supplying breakfast and food along the route.

Owners Craig and Lisa Baker said they are extremely happy to help such a great event and jumped at the chance to support the team.

They hope to complete the 80-mile tab in 24 hours.

The Legion's community fundraiser for West Cheshire, Ruth Jones, said: "Leon's story is sadly familiar, but the Legion raises money so we can provide lifelong support for the Armed Forces community, helping those in need.

"People like Leon have made an outstanding contribution and through our welfare work we help members of the British Armed Forces, and their families, to live on to a more hopeful future.

"This is a massive challenge that the guys are undertaking, but we hope everyone will get behind them and support their amazing cause."

You can sponsor the team at