Employees from international support services and construction group Interserve have given their own time to create a new space dedicated to veterans in the heart of Llandudno.

The team – Roy Rogers, Phil Cottam, Graham Percival and Pete Ellis – overhauled a former storeroom at Troop Café on Mostyn Broadway to provide a new facility for veterans’ support service Change Step.

It will now be used to help veterans who have struggled to return to civilian life and their families.

The group’s three-day effort is just the latest investment in the premises this summer, and follows the installation of new kitchen equipment, a menu revamp, and the development of an exciting calendar of drop-in information sessions and other events.

Roy said he and the rest of the Interserve team had taken great pride in being able to lend a hand.  The quartet are all veterans, with a total of almost six decades’ service in the forces. 

“This is all part and parcel of the Interserve’s ‘Give A Day Of Your Time’ programme, through which all of our employees can give two days a year of their time to put something back into the community through volunteering,” Roy said.

“This project has been a great way for us to give something back to the ex-forces community, and to support people who have suffered with PTSD and other difficulties.  With something like this you can really see that you’ve made a difference, and it is something which touches us personally because of our background in the forces.”

Change Step has worked with more than 1,000 veterans and their families across Wales since launching in 2014.  Support on offer includes help with substance misuse, housing, criminal justice and mental health issues, including PTSD.

Director Geraint Jones said he was thrilled at the kindness shown by the team.

“We’re delighted to have the backing of the lads from Interserve, who understand that Change Step’s peer mentoring approach is especially effective in helping former members of the Armed Forces access the help they need,” he said. 

“People who want to support our unique veteran-to-veteran service can volunteer with one of our projects in their area.

“There are opportunities for people to get involved in everything from dropping off and picking up collection tins, to attending public awareness events on our behalf, or even grabbing a shovel and joining one of our gardening groups.

“And you don’t have to be a veteran – we welcome anyone who wants to help us support vulnerable ex-servicemen and women throughout Wales.”

Run by the award-winning CAIS Social Enterprises, Troop Café hosts peer mentors from Change Step and operates as a hub for veterans in the community — offering support and guidance for former service personnel, as well as tasty food, drinks and snacks to the general public.  The café also provides catering and hospitality training to former members of the forces and others, and hosts monthly meetings of the Llandudno branch of the Royal British Legion.

 

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