The Hull FC Community Foundation caught up with Jason Kitching to find out how the Armed Forces Community Hub at the MKM Stadium has helped him feel a sense of freedom.
Thanks to recent funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Trust, the Community Foundation was able to set up a ‘hub’ at the MKM Stadium, home of Hull FC.
Part of the hub sees the Community Foundation partner up with the Covenant Trust to host a coffee morning once a week, which has seen engagement with hundreds of local veterans since it was established in 2021.
Jason has been coming to the Veterans coffee mornings for a number of months now, and he explains how the sessions help therapise him.
“At the end of the day, with us all being veterans, the coffee mornings is basically therapy. The camaraderie has helped us build unique friendships,” he said.
“It’s great to get out. A lot of the veterans are PTSD sufferers, including myself. Your mental state goes into a relaxation mode when you are around the other veterans, so you are in a happy place. It’s great!
“Myself and one of the other volunteers make the teas, coffees and sandwiches. We have a laugh with all of the other veterans.
“The first trial Armed Forces Community Hub was actually in Hull. Now there’s hundreds of them around the country and I think there are now a couple in other countries around the world, including Australia.”
Coming to the Veterans Coffee Mornings isn’t Jason’s sole involvement with the Hull FC Community Foundation, as he has discovered other projects that are offered.
On top of coming to the MKM Stadium Community Hub, Jason also attends a number of other projects throughout the week, that are helping relax his mind and develop his skills at the same time.
“I’m doing an event management course at the moment. I did a first aid course a couple of weeks ago. I passed that. If I didn’t there would have been something wrong because I’m a former medic in the military!
“As well as that, the Community Foundation has been helping me and one of the other veterans with raising some money for the Veterans Banger Rally next year.
“We really appreciate what the Community Foundation has done for us veterans. It’s only really been in the last couple of years that the wheels have been put in motion for veterans.
“Some people still don’t recognise what we have had to go through, but Hull FC has gone the extra mile to support us.
“Hull has been the national centre for helping veterans. It’s been the test city, if you like, but it’s been a nationwide success since.”