A BREAKFAST club to allow military veterans and current members of the armed forces to shoot the breeze has been set up.

Former soldier Justin Chilton has organised the monthly meetings at Consett AFC’s ground in Delves Lane.

The idea is to give military personnel the chance to meet up on ‘civvie street’ and also access any help they might need.

Mr Chilton, 47, from Blackhill, said: “There is a great camaraderie. You are never going to lose that bond that you have with people who have been in the Army.

“It can be a hard thing to adjust to when you leave so we just sit and have breakfast and talk, like squaddies.

“We go straight back to the banter and have good crack, so there are quite a few profanities going around and probably some politically incorrect stuff.

“But it is a good thing to do. Most people have said they were a bit unsure at first and then how much they enjoyed it.”

Mr Chilton, who runs his own cleaning company served in the Army for four years from 1988.

As a driver with the Royal Corps Transport he completed to two tours of Northern Ireland, serving in Belfast and Londonderry, an experience which has left him with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mr Chilton, a father-of-two, said: “It is all about bringing people together, not necessarily under the guise of Remembrance Sunday, or something like that.”

The group is attended by several military organisations to offer support including the Royal British Legion, I Support a Hero, Veterans at Ease and Back to Back Careers.

People can get advice about benefits, housing, PTSD, employment and any other issues affecting military staff.

The club meets on the last Saturday of the month and the first, in January, was attended by 34 people.

The next is on Saturday, from 10am, and while tea and coffee are free, a breakfast sandwich will cost £5 and a full English is £7.

Mr Chilton hopes in future the group might also hold social events such as pub crawls, barbecues and curry nights.

All former and current military personnel are welcome.

Mr Chilton said: “Within a couple of minutes of sitting down and cracking on it is just like being back in the NAAFI.”