AN East Renfrewshire schoolboy has raised more than £3,000 for homeless war veterans after spending 61 consecutive nights camping out in his back garden.

Ashton Wilson, 12, signed up at the start of March to take part in the Great Tommy Sleep Out – an annual event hosted by Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) to help former soldiers who have fallen on hard times.

But instead of camping out for one night last month, as RBLI suggested, he decided he would sleep for the whole of March and April in a tent in the garden of his home in Busby.

During that time, kind-hearted Ashton has managed to raise an impressive total of £3,350 for Britain’s homeless heroes.

Proud mum Lorna Wilson, 41, said her son plans to do a similar event next year, with dad John, a 46-year-old landscape gardener, also taking part.

She added: “Sunday was the first night Ashton had spent in his own bed for two months.

“He slept out every night and only came into the house to use the bathroom and wash up.

“The only other time he came indoors was to do his homework, as the internet access is better.

“Ashton even cooked his own meals outside on a gas stove and barbecue pit.

“He has also had tremendous financial support from family and friends.”

Ashton, who recently joined the Air Cadets and dreams of a career in the RAF, had been staying wrapped up in a hat, thermals, tracksuit and army jacket during the cold nights.

Mum-of-three Lorna said: “He loves the great outdoors, so he thought he would combine the two for charity.

“He is just looking to give a bit to those who have served our country but haven’t received support back.”

Ashton, who is a pupil at Williamwood High School, was also inspired by family members’ involvement in the armed forces, including his grandparents, his uncle and his former Army Cadet big brother Reece.

Lorna added: “He initially aimed to raise £150 but he’s already more than surpassed that.

“His dad and I are extremely proud of him.”

For more information about the work done by the RBLI, or if you would like to support the charity by making a donation, go online at