Big-hearted Barnsley couple win award for work with veterans

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A dedicated couple who set up and run a charity to help homeless veterans have been honoured for their work.

Tom and Jean Wood, of Royston, Barnsley, scooped the Community Champion award at the Amplifon Awards for Brave Britons, hosted by the Army and Navy Club in London.

Falklands hero Simon Weston presented Tom with the award, as Jean was unable to attend on the day.

The awards recognise members of the public, pets and existing and ex-military personnel who have shown remarkable acts of courage, bravery and selflessness, showing them to be ‘The Best Of British’.

Ex-serviceman Tom and Jean set up the charity Help 4 Homeless Veterans seven years ago after seeing a report about a young homeless veteran being attacked in a doorway.

Working with local councils, the couple sub-let properties, and prepare homes are ready for veterans to move in to. When a new tenant moves in, their home has been redecorated, furnished, and stocked with a month’s food shopping to get them started.

The kind couple have helped 300 veterans from as far afield as Scotland and the South coast since 2010, and rely on fundraising and grants to support their work. The charity, which also helps servicemen get back to work, has support from a former NHS clinical psychologist who offers free help to those with mental health problems.

Tom said: “Really it’s the charity that’s the winner today, not us! Receiving this award shows just how much we’ve achieved.”