David starts a second veterans' breakfast club in Lancashire

Breakfast clubs are back after the lockdown - and there' a new one for armed forces' veterans starting up in the Fylde.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 11:10 am

A new breakfast club for armed veterans is to restart its meetings in Thornton Cleveleys next month. .

David Brewin organiser of Garstang's Poppy appeal and President of the town's Royal British legion branch, set up the club at The Tramway pub on Victoria Road West last year . But after just three meetings the Coronavirus pandemic forced the club to suspend meetings.

David, who worked with a veteran to set up the club, said: "Hopefully it will bring veterans together from all over the area, not just Cleveleys. It's making a place to come back together to chat - only veterans know what veterans have gone through. He said: "It's on the second Saturday in June, the 12th at 9am. Just turn up for breakfast between 9am - 11am. There'll be somebody there to greet everyone."

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David Brewin pictured holding the poster advertising the new Thornton Cleveleys Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club which will restart on June 12 and is open to all veterans.
David Brewin pictured holding the poster advertising the new Thornton Cleveleys Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club which will restart on June 12 and is open to all veterans.

David hopes the club will be as successful as the one he started in Garstang with current Wyre mayor Coun Andrea Kay.

That started as a regular monthly coffee morning at St Thomas's church hall, then an additional evening meet up was arranged in the town's cafe. David recalled: "Then one of the veterans said have you ever thought about a breakfast club - I go to one in Penrith."

Coun Kay was the armed forces champion for Wyre whenshe and David, proprietor of Garstang's Sweets business which is now located in Garstang's Market Hall, decided this was the way ahead. The breakfast club is located at The Tithebarn which opens up one Saturday a month from 9am - 11am.A small committee organises the Garstang meetings and David reported: "It went from strength to strength."

It too had to close because of the pandemic but before that the Garstang breakfast club was attracting 64 regular attendees. The Garstang club will restart its breakfast meetings at The Tithebarn in July. David said: "They carried on all the way through (lockdown) doing walks together."

David withdrew from the Garstang club, which meets on the first Saturday of the month, in part because of ill health and in part to organise the new Thornton Cleveleys club, which will meet on the second Saturday of the month.

Veterans buy their own low cost breakfast but tea and coffee is provided free of charge.

David added: "It's a passion for me with being the Poppy appeal organiser, helping veterans get the help they need."

Since David became the appeal organiser seven years ago some £120,00 has been raised and even in lockdown year more than £8,000 was raised for the poppy appeal.

David, who suffered cancer as child, being diagnosed with a Wilms' tumor when 18months old, was never fit enough to join the Forces. But he was proud to discover both his great grandfathers served in the same regiment on the Somme.

David believes there is a need for support and help for veterans with mental health problems.

He said he has some understanding of what veterans who have post traumatic stress disorder (ptsd) may go through with his own experience of depression - even though he recognises this is very different from ptsd. He said: "Not just me, but a lot of males bottle everything up. We don't talk...we don't know how to talk. Like it's a bad saying 'man up'. You just lock yourself in. Obviously it's nothing like post traumatic stress disorder. These veterans what they actually did for our country is phenomenal and they are amazing people, all of them."

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