The new ‘positive ‘Veterans Lunch’ has given Salford veterans the opportunity to gather and connect through their own shared experiences.
The new veterans lunch project opened up on the 8th of February at The Hive Wellbeing Hub in Swinton.
The veterans lunch features a two-course hot lunch for £5 and will run once every fortnight at The Hive in Victoria Park.
Event organiser and Royal Army Veteran, Glenn Croston, 59, said: “The first veterans lunch at the hive went very well, we were very pleased that we managed to take double figures.”
Mr. Croston believes that the lunch is set to have a positive impact on the veteran’s community in Salford.
Mr. Croston said: “People go for the comradery and to make friends because they’ve all got a similar background.
“They’ve all served in one of the forces, so we’ve got similar experiences.
People have made friends and they’ve renewed friendships with people they haven’t seen for a very long time.”
Mr. Croston originally set up a Salford ‘Veterans Breakfast Club’ in January 2015. He said: “The breakfast club was set up just over seven years ago by myself and two other army veterans that live in Salford.”
The first official breakfast club run every Saturday morning and had around ‘fifteen to sixteen’ members at St Thomas Church in Pendleton.
Mr. Croston said: “We took about twelve months, I suppose, to try and get a core of blokes that would come every week.
“Covid hit and just like any other group of a similar style or type we had to stop what we were doing because most of the people that came were in the vulnerable age group.”
The breakfast club, which is still run by Glenn Croston, has a range of members with different backgrounds in the armed forces.
Mr. Croston said: “It’s a big mix of army, navy, royal air force and merchant navy, we’ve also got national servicemen who were enlisted back in the 40s and 50s up to about 1960.”
Around Remembrance Day in 2021, members of The Hive approached Mr. Croston and asked if he would like to collaborate in the development of the new ‘Veterans Lunch’.
Mr. Croston now hopes the Veterans lunch at The Hive will continue with success.
He said: “Hopefully it will be a full house every time The Hive runs the lunch.”