2018 was a sad year for my husband, two funerals months apart and one of his buddy’s taking his own life. Yet veterans were coming together for these events although in sad circumstances. After coming home and him breaking down we both decided to try and do something so that personnel serving and ex serving can come together but in a positive way. I’d seen the breakfast clubs and their ethos and after sitting with Mark we decided that maybe Oakham needs something like this. We never thought in a million years that it would take off the way it has. There’s the usual banter between the three services and a cracking breakfast at a reduced rate from the Grainstore who have whole heartedly supported us. More importantly friendships have been made and if one of us are man down then we all lift them up. We have numerous support from agencies and some real good people within Rutland Me and Mark only facilitate the club, it’s the guys and girls that come along with a smile and a whole load of camaraderie that make our breakfast club the success it really is. Who thought something so simple could mean so very much to thousands. Plus if anyone is ever this way then you are more than welcome. Long may it continue

Tracey Taylor
Oakham

I attend our local breakfast club with my husband (army) Its a great place for him to have banter with like minded people and just general chat about army life that he cant have with "civvies" Although not a veteran myself, im still made to feel part of the "family".... the atmosphere is great, banter fantastic, and the group is a great one.... We have been attending now a year and it is a great place for forces families to get together and be able to chat and have a great breakkie together.

Jo Arnold
Dudley

I encouraged my husband (Army) to come along, he’s really enjoyed meeting up with other serving & ex forces in such a friendly place. Proper breakfast, lots of banter/laughter & a true family feeling. Lifts the spirits no end. Thoroughly Recommended! Thanks to all the volunteers involved.

Gail Devereux-Batchelor
Oakham

I come across the AFVBC network website and thought it was a fantastic idea. I looked up my nearest group, to find there wasn’t one in my home town of Hartlepool. I contacted Dereck Hardman about setting one up. The response and support was fantastic. The Hartlepool Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club is now established and meet up on a weekly basis. It’s great to be around the banter and comaraderie from different generations and meeting new friends with something fantastic in common.

Rob Taylor
Hartlepool

In 2017 I became homeless after a relationship breakdown. I moved back to my native Bradford from Sheffield to no job and no home. After sleeping in my car I managed to get a caravan in the middle of the moors. Although this was better than being homeless it was still unfit for human habitation. In the midst of winter snow filled the caravan and temperatures were minus 3 inside. The agency work I had dried up and I had to claim JSA. But the money I got didn't cover my rent or food or heating. Christmas 2017 I was on the brink of freezing to death. I received help from a few comrades and managed to get my own flat. It took nearly a year to get back on my feet. At sapper fest 2018 I spoke to Dereck Hardman about setting up my own breakfast club as I had no way of getting to the other clubs in the district and I became isolated which affected my mental health. With the help of 2 friends I formed the Shipley Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club. This club has given me my self respect and focus back. Meeting once a month at the local wetherspoons pub I've met new friends and reconnected to old ones. .it's become a vital part of my life. We are a small group representer by all branches of the forces and although there's banter we have become a band of brothers. Ready to help each other.

Colin Pearson
Shipley

The AFVBC is a great place to meet up with other like minded ex military personnel (and their other halves) from all services. To chat, to banter, to get updates on any local events and to eat a good brekkie. I look forward to attending when I can but there in no commitment to attend every time and being national I can attend other meeting around the UK and abroad.

Steve Knight
Watford & Hemel

I enjoy going to the breakfast club as it gives me chance to meet up with like minded people. We have a laugh & a chat all over a good breakfast.

Trevor Taylor
Watford & Hemel

Today was a very emotinal day. A good friend of mine whom I joined up and served with was having a really really bad day. Tha bad his fiance got him to call me. We talked for ages trying to find solutions to all the problems he is having. We talked and talked, some of it was helping and he was feeling better, but he had that look that he needed more. So Iooked up AFVBC locations on the website and Fife AFVBC was the closest in his area. Gave him the number and told him to ring them now, so we hung up. Now I am in Nottinghamshire and he is in Perthshire a good 6 to 7 hour car drive. My brother from another mother is in trouble and I am think of ways to get up to Scotland to help him out. Not having a car didnt help matters!!! 30 minutes later he is calling me to say thank you and said things looked a lot better, that Fife AFVBC will sort out people he needs to talk to and they would welcome him to the club with open arms. Not only did he sound better but he looked better. His fiance was extremely happy that he was feeling better again. I would like to put out a big thank you to the Fife AFVBC. Guys you are awesome thank you so so much. Not only did you help him out you helped his family and myself thank you so much. If I can ever pay back the favour do not hesitate in contacting me here in Kirkby in Ashfield AFVBC. And finally to his fiance who saw he needed help and making him hold the hand out for help, you are his rock and you held him up high xxx I would ask that all AFVBC please put a telephone number on the AFVBC website so you can be availabe at times like this Fife AFVBC response was immediate and that helped no ends, for time is of the essence.

Mark Leek
Kirkby in Ashfield

Thank you - I'm really grateful to those three friends who used to meet on a Saturday morning, enjoying their morning butty and banter. And now, thanks to Derecks compassion for his fellow Veterans, I now enjoy my morning butty and banter. The Veterans Breakfast Club in Ayrshire has definitely helped me as I did suffer with various Health issues since leaving the Military and became somewhat of a recluse. Now I look forward to getting up, dressed and heading out to my local Breakfast Club and catching up with friends I have made throughout the years. To be perfectly honest I don't know what I'd do without it now ! I love my wee Breakfast Clan....my Military family, so keep going Dereck we're right behind you.

Suzanne Fernando
Ayrshire

The best thing that has happened for Veterans in the area for a very long time. With membership steadily increasing.

Josephine Coffey
Ayrshire
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