Salford Armed Forces Breakfast Club Director, and Verve Fostering Ambassador, Claire Marie Street explains that together, with the generosity of local business and people in the community, she has been able to get vulnerable support from Veterans during the pandemic. Claire and the Salford Veterans Breakfast club team have worked tirelessly throughout the year, bringing comfort for Veterans during the lockdown, raising morale and easing the loneliness that many Veterans have felt.
Sadly, we now face another month of lockdown, and as a result, many Veterans face loneliness and separation again.COVID19 is sadly becoming a reality for all of us, and we will remember 2020 for the wrong reasons. Last year we were able to fundraise throughout the year to prepare Xmas hampers and meals; this year, we couldn’t. However, Coronavirus has not stopped us, and our veterans will have Xmas cheer; because this is one war that COVID19 will not win.
Remembering the friends we have lost this year…RIP, stand easy; your job is done.
The Breakfast Club has been going for five years now, and in that time, many friendships made. COVID19 has robbed us of nearly nine months of banter, camaraderie, friendship; sadly, we have lost some of our dearly loved and respected Veterans. Frank Watts, Bob Hayfield and John McDonagh have passed away due to illnesses; they are dearly missed. It’s been heartbreaking for families that have lost someone so close within our club; it’s never easy saying goodbye. But even more cruel, due to Covid19, we have been prevented from saying our goodbyes correctly. We remember each one of our dear friends with respect, pride and affection…
Beating the loneliness of Lockdown for Veterans in Salford…
‘At Salford Veterans Breakfast Club, the members and I have tried to do our best to support veterans that we felt were most vulnerable throughout the first lockdown. We were delighted to get fantastic support from Walking with the Wounded, Scott Briggs, and Noel Goulding from the Veterans Food Company, which consequently forged into good friendships made. Together with the meals they cooked twice a week and delivered to Veterans in isolation, their support was a Godsend. Sadly, we are now entering a second lockdown before Xmas; however, another friendship formed from Noel’s team is with Stuart Fraser. Stuart has kindly offered to cook 2 x meals for approx. 15 -20 vulnerable veterans from next week; furthermore, these meals will continue every week, leading to Xmas. Not only will they provide our Veterans with good home-cooked food but will also bring with them a familiar face’.
Bringing a hot meal with a smile from a friend is the best boost during lockdown…
Breakfast club members will deliver these meals because we care about the effects of isolation that COVID 19 brings to our Veterans. Sadly, many veteran’s won’t see anyone from one week to the next; now they will see a familiar face, twice a week, with a hot meal and a smile; and lots of time for a chat (even if it is on the doorstep). We don’t know when things will ever get back to normal, or even what normal will be’ But one thing is sure, this normality will be the Breakfast Club getting back together, pulling up a sandbag, grabbing a brew and having a chat!
With this in mind, the breakfast club has been relying on fundraising and raffles to raise money for Armed Forces Veterans to get their traditional food hampers this Xmas. These hampers intend to ease the loneliness and isolation with treats and reduce the stress of going shopping. Also, we are blessed to have donations from Holland’s pies, Mizkan Euro, who produce Haywards pickles. The public has shown their support by donating to our fundraisers, and they are all very much appreciated. Thank you.’
Fundraising for Xmas Hampers, can you help?
Earlier this month, Claire and I set up a fundraiser on the Breakfast Club Facebook page to raise money to provide Xmas hampers for Armed Forces Veterans who live alone. We have received so much kindness and generosity which we gratefully receive; however, we’re not stopping yet. The more money we can raise for our Veteran’s, the bigger the Xmas hamper, and subsequently, the less of an impact COVID19 will have! If you would like to donate to our fundraiser, you can reach the appeal on the following link.
This year we have not been beaten by Covid 19; we have come together as a team of Veterans helping Veterans in the Salford Veterans Breakfast Club CIC; supporting each other through comradeship and friendship. We have as a group so many memories of good times and sad times, but through it all, we have always made it on a Saturday morning for a brew, a full English, some toast and a smile from the best ladies ever. We salute you!
If you would like further information about the Salford Veterans Breakfast Club CIC, you can contact them on the form, below, and they will get straight back to you. Stay safe.
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