Amputee set up breakfast club to support veterans in Chorley

Members of Chorley Combined Services Veterans Breakfast Club with Chorleys MP Lindsay Hoyle
Members of Chorley Combined Services Veterans Breakfast Club with Chorleys MP Lindsay Hoyle
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An army veteran who was left an amputee after a car accident has set up a breakfast club to support other former servicemen and women.

The idea for the monthly breakfast came from Russ Banks, 53, from Chorley. On finishing his 21 years of army service the crash meant Russ lost his foot.

Along with other veterans in the area he decided to establish the Chorley Combined Services Veterans Breakfast Club which takes place on the first Saturday of each month.

“Today, many veterans are still young, wounded or injured and we offer our club a place for them to come and feel involved with other veterans,” said Russ, who is still recovering from the 2012 accident.

“There are other sources where a veteran can go to and ask for support and guidance but that local face-face contact point is gone.

“I also wanted to bring the veterans together in a social capacity within the local Chorley town area where we can be together, have a brew and be amongst like-minded folk.”

Russ began as an army cadet in Chorley and enlisted into service when he was 16 years old in the Royal Military Police.

During the course of his service he worked all over the world, spending time in Germany where he met his wife Christel and brought up his two children, Sven and Monja. When he returned to Chorley to look after his parents he was in a crash which lead to his foot being amputated.

“A lady on a mobile phone was driving and she hit me,” said Russ.

“Since the road traffic accident I have been disabled and involved in supporting the welfare of local veterans. I’ve found the time to get involved with veterans and helped set up the Combined Services Veterans Breakfast Club. The Chorley area has been an immense catchment area for armed forces recruitment and I know there are many veterans who would like to join this band of brothers. It’s just a social gathering where we gather together but we also signpost veterans and their families to the relevant military charities where they can get support.”

The Chorley Combined Services Veterans Breakfast Club meet the first Saturday of each month at Pearsons in Market Street from 10.45am until 1pm.