The Littlehampton Armed Forces and Veterans Club have saluted the expansion of their breakfast club with a visit from the leader of West Sussex County Council.
On June 16, Louise Goldsmith visited the group at Café 72 in High Street, Littlehampton, to see how they have gone from zero to 72 members in four months and saw their recently unveiled standard.
She said: “It really is such a good initiative where veterans can meet up in an informal setting and support each other. I had such a warm welcome from everyone and some great conversations. It was a most thought provoking morning.”
The social club meets from 10am to midday on Saturdays – but on Wednesday, the club was to run its first weekday breakfast due to demand.
Peter Avery, 75, is one of the retired and active servicemen who have been helped by the social club. When the ex-Royal Marine, nicknamed ‘Pitbull’, moved to the area three months ago from Southampton, the group helped find him a flat in Bayford Road. He said: “They all rallied around – it’s like a big family here.
“Our week revolves around our Saturday morning breakfasts.”
Ian Buckland, a councillor who is also involved in the club, said: “Every Saturday morning we have approximately 20 plus members for breakfast and a bottomless brew.
“Our motto is that ‘with every veteran having breakfast with us is a veteran not having breakfast on their own’.
“Not only are we here as a breakfast club but we are here to help, support and assist any veteran or serving member in any way that we can. We will also be organising day trips for our veterans to take part in if they so wish in weeks and months to come.”
The standard is going to be used on Armed Forces Day and at any other military ceremony that the veterans can attend.
The group will be taking part in Armed Forces Day, June 30, so if veterans would like to join in, meet at Café 72 from 9am.