Walk+Talk and Coffee Club in the North East

Myself and a Regimental colleague have been running the Blyth coffee club in Northumberland since the conception of Fusiliers Connect.
Written by
Cheryl Watson
Published on
January 9, 2024

Myself and a Regimental colleague have been running the Blyth coffee club in Northumberland since the conception of Fusiliers Connect. (Fusiliers Connect is part of the Military App)

For us it is really heartwarming to see so many of our Fusilier family attending and looking forward to the event.

It is evident that social inclusion has been successful from the start for our members. For most is it a diary event which brings companionship, banter, emotional support and generational cohesion. The latter is evidenced even more by our W+T events, in, or around, Blyth Beach. We are starting to see the younger veterans, often many facing transition difficulties, attending the W+T events and engaging in wholesome conversation from our older veterans and families, whilst, at the same time, receiving vital advice from them based on their life experiences and challenges in civvie street.

Seeing the "divide" being bridged through simple connectivity of a community based support programme is heartwarming and reassuring to know that we, as a regiment, through Allegr (Military App), are providing to fill the voids in our Fusilier family.

Giving our members an opportunity to join in a connected Coffee Club event at the end of a W+T session added an extra opportunity for members to take part in one, or both, whilst at the same time it provided an opportunity to link in with those who may have only ever attended one of the aforementioned events.

Recently a VCSE group was also invited and we had the company of RBL Blyth branch, this allowed us to introduce another support agency to our members and thus, further event opportunities which will only enhance the community connections made.

All W+T events are held to include those with limited mobility, as are the Coffee Club venues for accessibility.

Overall, locally, we are boosting wellbeing, increasing physical activity and a healthier lifestyle, making connections, reducing social isolation, enhancing productivity, giving hope for the future and overall improving mental resilience through a supportive community circle.

We are so lucky to have all these events, I don't feel as lonely now. I can look on the app and see everything that is happening.

- a Fusilier W+T & Coffee Club member

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