A VETERANS’ café is to launch to provide a meeting point for older people with a military background.

Age UK North Yorkshire and Darlington will be launching the new facility at its centre on Zetland Street in Northallerton on August 22.

Adrian Lindop, service manager for Hambleton and Richmondshire at Age UK, said the café will be a permanent fixture at the venue, taking place between 10am and 12pm every Wednesday.

The café will be headed up by two ex-servicemen, including Shaun Britton, himself an ex-serviceman who is Joint Forces Support Officer based with Age UK in Darlington.

“We need to get veterans engaged and reduce loneliness and isolation,” said Adrian.

“This café we’re running will ensure they’re surrounded by like-minded people. It will be run for veterans, by veterans.

“They both have spent 22 years plus in the army, so they can understand their needs.”

Age UK will be collecting military insignia, badges and caps to provide a talking point and a memory board.

As well as providing a meeting point for ex-servicemen and women, the veterans’ café will also run a range of activities. It will be open to anyone over the age of 50.

“People often think Age UK is for people a little bit older – over 80 – but it’s literally open to anybody over the age of 50 who can come along,” said Adrian.

“On the back of that we will also be pushing for volunteers to help run activities and help with the day-to-day running.”

The café will be opened by the Mayor of Northallerton, Councillor John Forrest, at 10am on August 22.