Veteran launches new armed forces and veterans breakfast club in Kirkby

A Kirkby veteran is launching an Armed Forces and veterans breakfast club in a bid to help tackle isolation among servicemen and women and help them readjust to civilian life.

Thursday, 20th December 2018, 10:36 am
Updated Thursday, 20th December 2018, 11:38 am

Mark Leek, who served in the 1 Wessex and the Queens Regiment has set up a monthly breakfast meeting for veterans, serving members and those in reserves to get together.

It will meet for the first time on January 19 at 9.30am at the Duke of Wellington on Church Street, Kirkby,

Mark, 47 said: “I moved to Kirkby in 2010 and have taken part in the remembrance parade here in Kirkby at St Thomas Church.

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“I saw a lot of veterans I have never seen before. With this I realised that there are a lot of veterans in the Ashfield area who don’t even know each other.

“My concern was what about the veterans that nobody know about that may need support.

“A friend of mine who I served with in the Wessex regiment started a veterans breakfast club in Southampton. He has now opened five in total and a walk in centre, where veterans can get the help they need.

“The breakfast club is for veterans and serving personnel and is a place where all three armed forces can get together for breakfast, talk about the old times and the new - to help each other through the good times and the not so good times.

“He has inspired me to open one here in Kirkby to support our veterans and listen to their concerns.

“I would like to thank the Duke of Wellington for offering to put us up. Especially Hannah and Ian.

“A friend of mine who recently left the forces found there was a lack of support . There is civilian support and military support and they are two different worlds.

“A military man will listen to a military man - he knows he’s been through similar experiences and they will understand the problems.

“They can have a chat and a bit of banter. A lot of the guys have isolated themselves from their families - they don’t know how to connect with families or burden them with what they have gone through.

Mark is hoping to join forces with the Armed Forces Veterans Breakfast Club held at the Bold Forester on Botany Avenue, Mansfield from 10am-12 noon every Saturday, organised by Councillor Sean McCallum, an ex-soldier and Armed Forces Champion for Mansfield District Council,