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.
Operation Veteran has recently moved into new premises located at 38 Nile Street, North Shields in North Tyneside NE29 0BB. We have established a coffee shop open to the general public and run by Operation Veteran staff and our volunteers downstairs.
Upstairs in the premises, we have renovated, rebuilt and created a Veterans’ Centre which will allow us to run breakfast clubs, hubs, support groups, events and activities for veterans and their families.
This has been initially funded through a generous donation from The Chair of North Tyne council; Wendy Lott 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 our breakfast clubs and support groups 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.
Throughout the Covid pandemic, our staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to deliver weekly welfare checks to all of our beneficiaries, we have provided food parcels and vouchers where required, bought a microwave oven for another veteran, we have placed veterans in hotel accomodation until sustainable housing could be arranged, supported veterans with mental health and substance misuse issues and have supported and guided several veterans into employment.
Since our conception and establishment, visiting organisations have attended our groups 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 currently in the process of developing further services and support facilities for veterans and their families across the North east of England and will continue to develop close partnerships with organisations that can provide specialist support where required.