Former soldier is rallying Coventry’s homeless to keep city clean
“After serving in the army, Harley West found himself signed off work due to PTSD and in a vicious cycle of drug addiction and depression
A former soldier, who has battled with addiction, is taking on an almighty challenge to help the lives of some of the city’s most vulnerable.
Harley West is rallying the city’s homeless to help him clean up the city.
After serving in the army, Harley found himself living at the Salvation Army’s homeless hostel – signed off work due to his PTSD and in a vicious cycle of drug addiction and depression.
But by connecting with nature and serving his community, he has pulled himself back – and wants to help others suffering to do the same.
After serving in the army, Harley West found himself signed off work due to PTSD and in a vicious cycle of drug addiction and depression
Harley has an ambitious plan to set up his own non-profit organisation, Clean Up Your Act, which will rally homeless people into litter picking.
Cleaning up the city
Harley says he has already run a number of successful litter picking sessions and has had a great response from the community so far.
“We have already seen a positive uptake in those willing to volunteer their time,” Harley said.
“We provide food, transport and days out for the community but we need donations to continue the service.
“We want to provide uniforms to make those who take part feel like part of a team.”
Harley wants to raise £10,000 so that he can continue to clean up Coventry, and take his efforts to other parts of the country too.
To raise money for his organisation he is taking on the almighty challenge of walking the whole length of the country – from Lands End to John O’Groats starting on August 27.
He told CoventryLive that living at the Salvation Army hostel has made him realise how difficult it can be for addicts to break the cycle.
But an activity like litter picking, he says, can give sufferers a focus and help them to “rebuild a positive outlook”.
“Litter has a wide range of negative effects on the environment,” he said.
“It is a waste of public money that is damaging tourism and inward investments – whilst also encouraging crime and injuring animals.
“It is diminishing the environment and making our cities run down and filthy.
“I plan to build a larger team of individuals who have respect for the community and environment we all live in.
“I’m positive this change of environment will manifest a new hope for our volunteers to begin a drug-free life while building a new love and respect for nature.”
If you want to donate you can visit Harley’s Go Fund Me page here.
To find out more, visit his website Hero To Zero here.“