Updated: Apr 13, 2020
Hartlepool Veterans & Bluelight group has launched at LilyAnne’s Coffee Bar on Saturday 1st February 2020.
A new group in Hartlepool that aims to create a strong and local cohesive that supports members of the armed forces and emergency services currently serving and veterans.
The first event was attended by 15 people who enjoyed live music, food and tabletop games.
Founder of the Group Matthew Arnold who recently left the army wanted to create a pier to pier support group after discovering there was not much support out there so wanted to create a support network to help people suffering similar situations to himself.
In terms of the lack of mental health provisions and support for those suffering PTSD having served in warzones and returning to the normality of everyday life.
The aim of the group is to create a cohesive and strong local group that supports members of the community and offers a simple get together to enable the growth of a support network,
The event enables members current serving Army, Navy, RAF, NHS, Coastguard, Fire Service, RNLI Police, Ambulance & Mountain rescue as well as veterans to meet up and meet like-minded people while being able to access pier to pier support and develop friendships.
The event has been made possible due to the fantastic support from the Tudor Trust who provided funding to ensure the event can happen.
Funding the event made the evening possible and ensured a great support network was launched and created in Hartlepool which offers support to armed forces and emergency services who have also shared similar experiences in relation to PTSD.
LilyAnne’s was honoured to be entertained by Ben Bartlett a very talented local singer who is aged 15. Ben has a huge passion for singing and has been performing since the age of 7. Ben was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome a form of autism which singing has helped him come of his shell to be the person he has become today.
Back in 2016, Ben was selected for The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, performing at The Royal Albert Hall. He has performed at many Hartlepool Music events and in 2019 was selected to be part of the blind auditions from 10,000 applicants for The Voice Kids.