Veterans get hands on at cafe projects

Photo Neil Cross
Rob Wilson, 48 - was in the army 22 years
Photo Neil Cross Rob Wilson, 48 - was in the army 22 years
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Two new cafes in Preston will help war veterans get back into work.

A new cafe is set to open next month in the city centre and another £200,000 eatery is potentially on its way to Ashton Park. They are aimed at helping veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) find a way to meet new people and get back into jobs.

And project officer, Rob Wilson, who was in the Army for 22 years and suffers with PTSD, says it will help prevent isolation for other veterans.

Rob, 50, said: “These cafes will provide a place for veterans to meet away from the busy city centre as well as getting them back into work without some of the pressures that come with other jobs.”

A veterans’ breakfast cafe will open in Preston Bus Station on March 5 while the other £200,000 cafe is planned to open within the next 12 months in Ashton Park.

And Rob hopes veterans from across Lancashire will get involved, with funding for the park cafe underway.

He said: “Sometimes going back into work can be difficult because you have to be there at specific times and work with people you’ve never met before.

“At these cafes, there will be a couple of full-time staff but mainly it will be veterans working 10 to 20 hours a week to ease them back into the work place. We hope to also have bakery there so we can make our own bread.”

The cafes are being run by Dig In, a project which sees veterans doing gardening as well as other activities to come together. The Ashton Park cafe will be funded by various grants.

Veterans interested in the project can call 07887 684 727.