BALLINGRY man Paul Boggie is hoping that he can get can raise a lot of money to allow him to him to put his plans into action to help the homeless of Scotland.

Paul came to Kirktoun Park with his wife in 2018, from Edinburgh, and they have quickly settled in to living in Benarty and during that time he has completed his book Heroin to Hero, about leaving a life of drugs behind and becoming a member of the Scots Guards.

The book tells how he managed to ensure his life of taking everything from heroin and cocaine through to magic mushrooms, changed to that of a soldier who guarded the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Paul stressed that on more than one occasion he almost did not make it, but getting some discipline into his life through taking up boxing and training regularly at a gym, helped him.

His book, which went online during the week, he hopes will raise funds which he will be able to use to put plans in place to help homeless people in Scotland.

He is also helping organise a major fundraiser, being held at the Army facility at Brecon, in Powys, next week which will see his former soldier colleague, Alfie Macarthur, a professional boxer, and a number of his fight game friends, hold a series of challenges over five days starting on Wednesday June 10, which will also be geared to raising funds to aid the homeless.

Funds from the sale of Paul's book will be solely for the homeless in Scotland, while the Powys event will support homeless throughout the UK, and also the NHS.

Said Paul: "I hope the book can prove an inspiration to some who perhaps are facing the challenges I did when I eventually decided to try to give drugs up, after being told by doctors that if I didn't I would be a gonner.

"But more importantly I hope it can raise a lot of money to help make my plans to help homeless people come to fruition.

"It is all about taking things one stage at a time but ultimately we really need a properly structured way of trying to make homeless people on Scotland's streets a thing of the past."

Paul, 40, feels that every homeless person has a different reason for being in that position.

"Looking from afar people seem to think everyone who is on the street has a story painted by the same brush, but nothing could be further from the truth," he went on.

"Some will have the same situation that I had through drugs, but for many it really can be family problems which see them on the street, often through no fault of their own. It could be the result of a family break-up, or a mum or dad changing partner.

"Often a young teenager is left with having to pick up the pieces and for many it can be very difficult and things can spiral out of control.

"I saw it at the sharp end when I was in Edinburgh 20 years ago, a lot of young people, and some not so young, facing being on the streets."

Ultimately Paul hopes he can raise enough money to try to give a better structure to helping the homeless, although he admits it won't be easy.

"A lot of organisations are trying to make a difference but I think that things are too fragmented," added Paul.

"Each year people are dying on the streets because in winter time, due to their circumstances, they simply are not equipped to deal with the freezing wet conditions that prevail.

"There has to be a way of ensuring homeless people have things like sleeping bags and basic gear to help them survive and the key thing is having the finance to make it possible.

"That is the target and hopefully the book, and the event in Powys, will be a positive start."

The Brecon Professional Boxers' Charity Challenge will see Alfie McArthur, and his fight colleagues, battle it out over a number of very tough physical events.

The whole five days will be streamed on You Tube and along the way Paul hopes that some additional sponsors can be picked up as the event gathers pace.

"The social media aspect of things will be very important, but through You Tube we will be reaching all over the world and hopefully we might find some people interested in getting involved", he concluded.