Coventry & Warwickshire

Ex-soldier launches Coventry breakfast club for veterans

Mick Crowther Image copyright Mick Crowther
Image caption Mick Crowther says he misses "the organised life"

A "breakfast club" is being set up in Coventry to support former members of the armed forces.

It is due to meet on the first Saturday of every month, with a Facebook group for the scheme attracting more than 120 members within a week of its launch.

Organiser Mick Crowther, who served in the Army during the 1980s, said "a lot of" veterans were struggling.

The plan is to unite like-minded people, with a shared experience, as they adjust to civilian life.

Mr Crowther suggested one difficulty being faced was fitting in at a new workplace.

He said meeting the Army's requirement "to do your best" could be misinterpreted by civilian colleagues.

The 54-year-old, who now runs a dog-walking and pet-sitting company, said: "I've been in driving jobs before where I've gone out and done the job and got back and asked 'what's the next job'?" only to be told "that should be a day's work, you're upsetting other drivers".

The initiative, part of the national Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs, will start on 7 September at Coundon Social Club, off Shorncliffe Road.

Described as an "informal meeting over breakfast", organisers said it would give those attending "a place to meet like-minded people".

Image copyright Mick Crowther
Image caption Ex-Army Mick Crowther and his father Geoff who served 24 years in the forces and became a Chelsea Pensioner

Mr Crowther said he had "been out [of the Army] long enough to deal with civilian life", but missed "the organised life; basically being told what to do".

John Langford, who joined the Army aged 16, said his manner had "cost" him work in the past.

He said: "You can't speak to people the way that we speak to each other. It's not acceptable.

"They take it as very aggressive tones whereas we see it as assertive."

He said: "Groups like this (are) going to give people the opportunity to come and just offload."

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