Potty in Portsmouth: Veterans spend five days in portable toilets for charity

Ian Baillie, Mike Hewlett, Gary Sprakes and Chris Nicholls are attempting the challenge on Southsea Common Credit: PA

Four veterans who say their lives were saved by a support charity are spending 120 hours in portable toilet cabins to raise money for the service.

Ian Baillie, Mike Hewlett, Gary Sprakes and Chris Nicholls have set up looking out to the Solent from Southsea Common in Portsmouth for the five-day challenge in aid of Forgotten Veterans UK.

Happy to chat- and the veterans hope passers-by will spend a penny or two Credit: PA

Mr Sprakes, a former submariner from Waterlooville, said: “The charity saved my life. I tried to commit suicide four times – my dog and this charity are the reasons I am here today.”

The 70-year-old, who now works for the charity, said of the challenge: “We are a team, we have the mindset that this is what we have set out to do and we are going to finish it together.”

Mr Baillie, 55, from Liverpool, a former private in the Royal Corps of Signals and Royal Anglian regiments, said: “It’s been tough. It’s not so bad in the day when people are talking to us, but at night there’s no room, it’s uncomfortable and you’re lucky to get two hours’ sleep.”

He added jokingly: “The worst thing is the neighbours.”

Mr Nicholls, 58, a former Army corporal from Portsmouth, said: “Trying to sleep in here is a challenge but we have raised a lot of money and the public have been amazing.”

Mr Hewlett, 55, a former rifleman with the Royal Green Jackets, said: “It’s difficult to sleep in the loos, you can hear each moving about, and on the first night I could hear someone shout out, ‘Whose stupid idea was this?’

“But the loos are new so there’s no smell – luckily they didn’t get them from the Isle of Wight Festival.”

Mike's dog Buster is keeping spirits up Credit: PA

Charity founder Gary Weaving said: “Every one of those guys who are in those loos came to me in their time of crisis and it’s incredible what they are doing.

“It’s not just about the money, it’s about working as a team with our support staff and engagement with the public.”

The challenge began on Wednesday and finishes at 4pm on Sunday.

To find out more about the challenge visit totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/extreme-portaloo-challenge>