Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Clubs

Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Clubs

National website

Selby Breakfast Club

First Meeting 21 July 2019 Escapologist Escape Rooms Selby

On Sunday 21 July 2019 the first meeting of the Selby Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club will meet at 12:00 at the Escapologist Escape Rooms Selby (Unit C 4 New Lane, Selby, North Yorkshire YO8 4QB

The Breakfast Clubs are completely FREE to those serving personnel and veterans attending.

There are no subs or joining fees. All any veteran or service personnel will ever have to pay for is their own breakfast, and even then, clubs tend to ensure that the cost of breakfast for WWII veterans, and those who are suffering hardship, is taken care of.

The Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs network, is an organisation run by Armed Forces Personnel & Veterans, for veterans and serving members of H.M. forces.

The Selby Club is being set up to offer an opportunity of Veterans to meet once a month and we were please when the Escapologist Escape Rooms in Selby approached us and offered us a venue to meet.

Comment from The Escapologist: “After hearing that Andy was looking to organise a regular get together for ex-military, I was keen to see where we could help. Many of my friends and family have or are currently serving and I could relate with Andy’s desire to organise an opportunity for people to meet socially and build a network of likeminded individuals who can share experiences and support (where possible) the adaptation back civilian life. Andy and Team Escapologist are keen for individuals interested in meeting up, to come down and enjoy some relatable company.

I think what Andy is doing will offer a community of ex-military individuals a valuable and vital opportunity to get together. Team Escapologist already offer a Military Discount, and are proud to be able to support Andy and the group with an inclusive and sociable environment as a small gesture for their efforts to queen and county.”

Olly McClaren

The Escapologist; Bar, Restaurant & Escape Rooms

Comment from Andy Wilmer: “The transition from military to civilian life for me hasn’t been the easiest. While serving you are surrounded by like minded people, who are all on the same wavelength both in a social and a work environment. While serving you have a sense of purpose and have a proudness to be standing shoulder to shoulder with those you serve with and to the Queen and country you take your oath of allegiance to. When you leave that military bubble be that by choice or from a medical discharge you lose some of that purpose, but still feel you need to have one. Many people also feel isolated by not being around those who share the same values and sense of camaraderie.

I set up the Selby Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club via the national framework to help not only me regain that sense of togetherness, but also to help others that might be finding the transition into, or the civilian world as a whole difficult for whatever reason. We intend to meet every first Saturday of the month at 10:00 to have some breakfast, have the banter like we used to and also to help signpost those who might need it in the direction of people who may help. You can take the person out of the military, but you can’t take the military out of the person. This breakfast club aims to help where possible in continuing the bond we once had.”

Andy Wilmer

Founder of the Selby Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club

Involvement with a breakfast clubs ends isolation, giving veterans particularly a sense of belonging, which many lost when they left their respective services, and those attending AFVBC’s are stronger together, because they have ‘returned to the tribe’!

The network is not affiliated to any charities, because veterans should not be put off thinking they may be shamed or brow-beaten into standing in a supermarket with a collection bucket, and instead, AFVBC’s should increasingly represent the ‘customer base’ for the 3000+ military charities.

The original concept came about in 2007 when Dereck J, Hardman took a ‘project’ vehicle to a motor engineer in Hull, an ex REME veteran called Peter Barker. Over the following months, Pete’s former comrades would drop by every so often for a brew, which was enormous fun, and got Dereck thinking. He hit upon the idea of inviting other local veterans he would meet randomly to join us at Pete’s garage for some banter, a ‘brew’ and a ‘butty’.

It wasn’t long before there were a group of veterans meeting every Saturday morning, and they all just kept coming back! One day Dereck suggested they should call it a ‘Breakfast Club’ and thought it would be amusing to call it the ‘BBC’ (‘Barker’s Breakfast Club’)… and the first Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Club was born.

When veterans from other areas visited in 2014, telling him it was a wonderful idea, they decided to take it further afield. The Breakfast Clubs proliferated at an astonishing rate and spread into Europe and further. The uptake has been phenomenal, both here and overseas (Germany, France, Spain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Australia and more), with more an average of more than one a week starting since then.

We have seen first-hand the huge positive impact the Breakfast Clubs are having on the lives of so many veterans and their families. It is truly staggering, and it has driven us to work very hard on them since this began. The mutual support they afford, and the connections they are making, even outside of the clubs is incredible.

Further information:

Andy Wilmer                        07515595684

Andrew Charnick       07809417565

Mick Knowles     07790456012