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Withernsea Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club

2268. Darren England

Darren England, from East Yorkshire, runs the ‘Withernsea Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club’, giving veterans a safe place to socialise, receive advice and feel part of the community.

Darren organises bi-weekly breakfast meetings which bring together up to 45 veterans who, having all shared experiences in the Armed Forces, are able to offer support to each other. Darren, who is president of the club, also organises regular regimental dinners, summer balls and Christmas parties and veterans from all branches of the military are actively encouraged to join. Darren works to honour veterans by undertaking research and visiting the war graves of soldiers across Europe. The research is shared with the veterans’ families, providing comfort through knowledge of their history and legacy.

Darren spearheaded the relaunch of the town’s Royal British Legion Branch, which as well as leading the town’s annual Remembrance Service, is a key part of the local community. Every year, Darren organises a cascade of poppies as a poignant backdrop to the town’s Remembrance Service. In 2022, Darren also created a community garden, which has become an attraction and focal point for the town, offering people a place to engage with nature and reflect in a quiet space. 

In a personal letter to Darren, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: 

“By creating the Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club in Withernsea and restarting the local branch of the Royal British Legion you have made a huge difference to veterans, and serving members of His Majesty’s Armed Forces, across East Yorkshire. You have brought people together to socialise, support each other, and remember.

“I know you also volunteer for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, conducting tours and helping people to honour the incredible contribution and sacrifice of servicemen and women from across the Commonwealth, securing the freedoms that we all enjoy today.”

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Rt Hon Johnny Mercer MP, said:

“Darren has contributed selflessly to members of the Armed Forces community by providing support through local breakfast clubs, alongside ensuring the memory of our veterans lives on through their families.

“I am pleased his efforts have been recognised with this Points of Light award.”

Congratulating Darren on his award, the Rt Hon Graham Stuart, Darren’s Local MP for Beverley and Holderness, said:   

“We hear bad news on a daily basis, but wonderful people are doing amazing things in our community every day. Darren is one of those people. That’s why I wanted to ensure he was recognised by the Prime Minister for his tireless work in Withernsea and beyond to support our veterans and bring the community together on Remembrance Sunday. Darren looks after our heroes and this makes him a hero to many, including me.” 

Darren said:

“I was surprised to be nominated and honoured to receive the award given recent Points of Light winners. It is a privilege to work with and for veterans. I started the local Armed Forces Veterans Breakfast Club and restarted The Royal British Legion with them in mind. There was very little opportunity for veterans to socialise in the area and it is great to see our veterans prospering. “I also organise Remembrance events for the town and volunteer for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission conducting tours of military graves remembering those that gave their lives.”

Find out more about the ‘Withernsea Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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