The Veterans’ Hub was visited by more than 60 members of the Isle of Wight Scooter Alliance, who handed over a cheque for nearly £300 during the rideout on Sunday (February 27).
The hub, based in Ryde, was inundated by the scooterists, who were organised by Martin Dean.
The hub’s founder and CEO is Dale Hillier, who served in the Royal Navy during the Falklands War in 1982 and Grenada the following year. He said: “It was an amazing gesture by Martin and the rest of the scooter alliance who were parked all the way up the High Street.
“They came into the hub for a cuppa and our ladies had made four lovely cakes for them to tuck into.
“I started this up, with Steve Goodall and Graham Stubbles, because I have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for many years after leaving the Navy.
“Initially it was from a work van which was converted into a mobile hub. Then I thought about proper premises and saw the ideal place in the High Street. Last year was so tough for many people, so we launched the Veterans’ Lounge in December.
“It’s very cosy inside and there are leather sofas and you’re able to get a tea or coffee and a slice of cake.
“It’s there for veterans – not just from the Armed Forces – but for the police, fire crews and the ambulance service. Anyone who has served. Shortly, upstairs, we will have a consultation room and office with a recreation area where people can just chill out.
“We are the first point of contact and if anyone has any mental health, debt or other problems, they can come in for a cuppa and we can then point them in the right direction where they can speak to an expert.”
The hub is open Monday to Saturday, around 9am-3.30pm.