Chelsea Pensioners Visit to Rutland & Oakham.

The Oakham Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club goes from strength to strength and Oakham gets a visitor from the Royal Hospital Chelsea

The monthly Oakham Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast club has now been running since August 2018 and has been growing from strength to strength in numbers and popularity. The monthly meeting which is hosted at the Grainstore Brewery in Oakham has given veterans and their families, along with serving forces personal, a platform to meet socially over breakfast whilst forging new friendships with like minded folk across all three services.

The last few breakfast clubs have been incredibly well turned out alongside the centenary WW1 celebrations and Armistice Parade which allowed veterans of all ages to march on the parade in Oakham on Remembrance Sunday, something which was considered by many veterans a real privilege.
Mark & Tracey Taylor founders of the Breakfast club in Oakham were kindly invited to the Royal Hospital in Chelsea back in September to join the Chelsea pensioners and the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson to have breakfast with them as a bit of a thank you for supporting the country wide initiative. During the visit Mark and Tracey were introduced and hosted kindly by Brian Cummings MBE GCStG and duly returned the offer of joining them at the breakfast club being hosted at the Grainstore Brewery in December. He has previously visited Uppingham before in an official capacity and was relishing the opportunity to return to Rutland Once more clad in his distinct scarlet uniform.
Brian was absolutely delighted at the offer and agreed to visit as invited, after careful consultation with the Armed Forces Officer Michelle Woolman-Lane and Rutland County council it was discussed that an itinerary would be put together for the duration of his stay which saw Brian unveil the Tommy Memorial at the council offices , provide a talk to the children of Cottesmore Academy , provide a talk on life as a Chelsea Pensioner at the Rutland Museum for members of the public , along with a visit to the 2 PWRR mess on Kendrew Barracks and finally to help assist with the fundraising Christmas prize draw at the Veterans Breakfast club.
The prize draw was an opportunity for the Veterans Breakfast club to raise some welcomed funds to go towards a sensory room at Cottesmore Academy which accommodates the teaching of a number of service family’s children located on Kendrew Barracks. We were extremely priviledged to have help in collating prizes for the raffle by James Freiland and Michelle Woolman-Lane and many thanks must go to those local businesses that donated prizes. Wisteria hotel,The Falcon Hotel, The Grainstore Brewery, Rutland cycling, Olive beauty and tanning, Debra Jenkins, Lands End, Jaqueline Hurley War Poppy Prints, Thomas and Thomas Hairdressing, Tranquility Raine, Barnsdale Lodge and all the staff for making Brians stay enjoyable, Quoin print for donating the tickets and Curios and Clobber for the Wonderful decoration of the Grainstore on the morning of the raffle
The breakfast which was held on Saturday 1 December at the Grainstore was again incredibly well turned out by both regular supporters of the breakfast and new faces which is always welcomed. Chelsea Pensioner Brian was no stranger to some having previously served with veteran Ron Culpin who he had served with during his service in Egypt, testament to what a small world it is they both shared stories together over breakfast which was incredibly humbling to listen too. The weekend was an absolute success which saw Brian thoroughly enjoy his stay in Oakham, he parted thanking us all for an amazing time and stated that he would love to come back next year and visit more of Rutland next time. He also donated a prize that will be auctioned in the new year of a visit for 2 people to have dinner at the Royal Hospital Chelsea and a personal tour of the buildings and grounds.
We as a club are incredibly grateful for the support of the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland Dr Sarah Furness, Helen Briggs and the support from Rutland County Council , the Armed Forces Officer Michelle Woolman-Lane, but most importantly to the Grainstore for allowing us to hold our breakfasts there and support us in whatever capacity they can.
The feedback that both Tracey and Mark have received has been incredibly positive thus far and will continue every 1st Saturday of the month in the new year.
For further information on the Oakham Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club then contact Mark and Tracey on oakhamafvbc@gmail.com or via social media Facebook Oakham Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club or Twitter Oakham AFVBC where we will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
From everyone at Oakham Armed Forcess Veteran Breakfast Club we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful 2019

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