Around 60 people attended the official launch of a new Veterans’ Breakfast Hub at Blackburn Rovers.

For the past five weeks, the Hub has been operating on Tuesday mornings from 10.30am to 12 noon in the Legends Lounge at the Darwen End of Ewood Park.

Community welfare officer Chris McGrail, who organises the club, said: “We had about 60 people come along on the day, local veterans as well as members of other organisations and charities.

“These included: Veterans In Communities, Veterans Living History Museum (VLHM), Healthier Heroes and members of the Darwen branch of The Royal British Legion.

“The Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen Councillor Derek Hardman welcomed everyone, thanked them for their attendance and gave an opening speech and Colonel Stephen Davies was a guest speaker.”

Since the Hub opened, it has attracted around 25 people each week and Chris has already consulted with them to ensure future plans and activities will be supported.

An application has been made for nearly £10,000 from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, which will help to cover costs and also support activities.

Project leader of the Lancashire Armed Forces Covenant Hub, Ian Barber said, “Blackburn Rovers FC Community Trust is the latest Lancashire football club to create a health and social Hub aimed directly at the armed forces community.

“Some members of our community are negatively affected by their military service and others have to deal with more generic health and social issues.

“These groups provide a way for military people to engage with other military people; they provide fun activities and a gateway to further support services if necessary and I applaud the community trust for developing this initiative.

“The way they have engaged with our existing veteran specific groups in the area is exemplary and is undoubtedly why the Hub has grown so rapidly.”

Chris is also looking to apply for a National Lottery Awards for All to assist with employing a veteran to help run the breakfast hub and organise trips out as an extension to Tuesday’s meetings.

Walks will soon be introduced and these will be graded so they are suitable for all abilities.

VLHM donated £300 to kickstart the Hub and £1,100 was received from Southern Solicitors in Burnley.

Chris said: “I am delighted with how successful the hub has already become and we are expecting to hear a decision on the Armed Forces grant in October.”

A representative of Albion Mill, which will be providing supported living and a dementia care home in Blackburn, also attended the launch to outline how a project funded by Captain Tom’s Foundation will benefit the community.

The veterans’ hub will be getting involved in helping to develop a communal garden at the home, create a vegetable patch and introduce a man shed.

Chris added: “We have already carried out a consultation, so we know what the veterans have said they want to do; now we want to make it happen.”