A COMMUNITY support group for war veterans, servicemen and women, and their families, has enjoyed its first meet-up since the coronavirus outbreak.

The Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club, for Clacton, backed by both the Armed Forces Covenant and the Government, launched back in 2018.

Founded by Mike Henderson, the group would initially attract just four people, but has since grown in popularity, now boasting a core group of 20 military-minded locals.

Before the pandemic took hold, the two-hour club would be held twice a month at the Moon and Starfish pub, meeting on the second and fourth Saturdays.

It has proved to be a welcome lifeline for some veterans, who can sometimes struggle with isolation and integration within the community when they leave the service.

“As a breakdown, we have veterans, serving soldiers and airmen, and a policeman,” said Mr Henderson.

“We also allow for children and partners to attend, but, at their own peril, as the stories and language can be quite dark.

“But 30 per cent of veterans struggle with isolation because of their conditioning at an impressionable age, and most join [the service] straight from school.

“This is something the Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Clubs, all over the country and abroad, are addressing, including our own.

Since the lockdown, the group’s regulars have been unable to meet-up but have now finally got back together for a socially distanced lunch at the Kings Cliff Hotel.

“At our first meeting back, we took advantage of the King Cliff Hotel’s extensive menu and split into groups to adhere to rules at this time,” Mr Henderson added.

The group will meet up at the Kings Cliff from 12pm this Saturday for Armed Forces Day.

To find out more about Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club visit afvbc.net/about-afvbc or call Mike Henderson on 07875 345 104.