The Sheffield Breakfast Club has been set up to allow former military personnel and their families to get together and recreate the camaraderie of serving their country.
Meeting on the first Saturday of the month at the Benjamin Huntsman pub in the city centre, the club has more than 80 members after forming in August – and is hoping more former members of the Army, Navy and Air Force will join up.
Organiser Paul Oldfield, aged 51, said it can be a struggle for soldiers when they return to civilian life.
Mr Oldfield, who served in the Royal Signals fromto 1981 and 2008, said the intention of the club is to provide support and friendship to those who have left the military, as well as a network of contacts to assist with things like job-seeking.
He said: “When you serve in the military, you look after your own. This club is food, banter and support – exactly the same as what it is like in the Army.
“When you leave the military, to be perfectly honest, it is like all of a sudden the brakes go on and you are at a stop.
“When you are in the military, you know exactly what you are doing and what you can rely on.
“If I had been done 24 years in prison and was getting out tomorrow, the Government would make sure I had a massive support network behind me. But when you serve your country, there is nothing.
“When you are here you feel at home – everyone understands each other.”
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