Calm Cafes for Veterans will run until 2025
Telford & Wrekin Council’s Calm Cafes for Veterans are set to be extended until January 2025 due to demand for the free support events.
The Calm Cafes, which are funded by the borough’s Armed Forces Covenant, were launched in January 2022 and have already moved to a new larger venue to accommodate a high number of visitors.
The sessions offer a space for veterans to socialise with like-minded people as well as offering mental health and wellbeing support from Telford Mind for those who may require it.
Currently two sessions take place on the second and fourth Monday of each month. During today’s cabinet meeting the decision was approved to increase funding to allow for sessions to be increased to three per month, including one evening session making them even more accessible for veterans in the borough.
Telford & Wrekin Council offer a range of support and signposting services for Armed Forces personnel and their families living locally including housing, financial support and also access to leisure discounts. In July 2020, the council was also awarded the Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award by the Secretary of State for Defence which formally recognised the council’s continued support to the local Armed Forces community.
To date 76 organisations have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant in Telford & Wrekin including Dawley Town Council, who have provided the venue for the Calm Cafes to take place as a part of their pledge to support those who serve or who have served in the armed forces.
Councillor Paul Watling, Cabinet Member for Stronger and Safer Communities (Lab) said: “The Veteran Calm Cafes have been very successful since we launched them at the start of this year. After just a few weeks we needed to find a new larger venue to accommodate visitors which made it clear just how beneficial these sessions were. It is our priority to ensure every adult lives well in their community and with 10,000 Armed Forces Veterans living in Telford and Wrekin we will ensure they have all of the support and information that they need.”
Stuart, an army veteran from Telford said: “In 2013 I got diagnosed with PTSD. I went through all of the treatment you could think of including a 6 week programme, EMDR and CBT. At the time I’d have loved to have attended to have a cup of tea with someone who isn’t a therapist, to tell them about my nightmares and to share experiences with no fear of judgement. I think it is fantastic that more investment is being provided to allow for the Veteran Cafes to continue for longer.”
Visit www.telford.gov.uk/armedforces to see what other support is available for the council.