In October 2017 the first Isle of Wight Armed Force and Veterans Breakfast Club was launched, being a small island we had to do it differently and our difference was a breakfast cooked by volunteers and a space just for us. The founder of the club Roger Lyness wanted the club to be special, with limited resources on the Isle of Wight for Veterans and serving personnel it had to be a place to bring back that feeling of family. Our motto of Breakfast, Brew and Banter holds true, and certainly there is lots of banter especially when watching the Army and Navy !
In the year since we have had many many great moments but winning the Mayors New Years Honour in recognition for the outstanding contribution to the community has to be one of the greatest.
Our club is held in a community facility with breakfast cooked and supervised by the ever-patient Andy, an ex RAF cook. A team of volunteers help get out the tables, buy the food, wash up and ensure everyone has a warm welcome and leaves with smiles. We meet once a month on a Sunday and regularly have 40 people to feed. Dave Todd or Toddy to us all, helped set the club up, and unfortunately passed away on Armed Forces Day 2018, would have been beaming with pride, knowing how the small idea has grown to such an amazing group.
In the Summer we held a BBQ for all the family and welcomed around 80 guests. The Breakfast Club has also taken on a Veterans Allotment that will be a facility for all the family to use, whether they want to garden or simply sit and take in the open air. We are certainly looking forward to tasting some of the produce or simply enjoying a brew in the shed. Alongside this we had 2 members attend Chelsea last year, with one going back very soon for a trial…
We work with Veterans Outreach Support, British Legion and attending the Armed Forces Day the club continues to work to improve the lives of all our members, together.