Operation Veteran CIC:
Is a Not for Profit organisation, Limited by Guarantee, set up to provide services, practical activities, support, advice, guidance and access to other veterans which focuses on volunteering, training and placement opportunities which may also lead to employment. In addition, to help veterans with their transition to civilian life and to assist with the difficulties experienced during their reintegration back into their own communities and move forward with their lives.
Working in conjunction with Project Nova (supporting veterans at risk of entering the criminal justice system), North Tyneside Council and the YMCA, Operation Veteran is currently providing a monthly breakfast club at the YMCA premises in North Shields.
This has been initially funded through a generous donation from Darceys Candles of Kilmarnock and subsidised by the YMCA and through charitable events, donations, fundraising, sponsorship and the buying and selling of antiques and collectables at local flea markets and antique fairs.
The aims of the breakfast club are to address social isolation amongst veterans, provide an opportunity for veterans to congregate and to share experiences in a familiar and safe environment, develop a signposting service for veterans who may require specialist advice and support, inform veterans of events and activities available to them through other veteran organisations and for visiting professionals from public and 3rd sector organisations to attend in an informal setting.
The Operation Veteran Breakfast club is open on the last Thursday of each month, providing access and free breakfast and refreshments to serving personnel and armed forces veterans.
Operation Veteran also provides a hub facility on the 2nd Thursday of each month and was launched in April 2018.
In both cases, visiting organisations have attended to provide information, support and guidance where required. These have included Armed Forces Outreach Services (AFOS), Age UK, SSAFA, The British Legion, Standard Bearers Association, NERAF (Drug & Alcohol Support) and from a local theatre company seeking to produce community plays to highlight issues affecting veterans on leaving the armed forces.
Operation Veteran is in the process of developing further services and support facilities for veterans across the North east of England.