Veterans

Military Community Centre Has Been A 'Lifesaver' Veteran Says

More than 150 former personnel come through the door of the Veterans' Hub in Weymouth each week.

A veteran says a military community centre in Weymouth has 'saved his life.' 

Veteran Jimmy Levene was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in 2013.

He said his life became a "train crash" and his mental health deteriorated.

That was before he came across the Veterans' Hub in Weymouth, set up by former Rifleman Andy Price.

Mr Price opened the centre in 2017, offering somewhere "friendly and non-judgmental".

Since opening, more than 150 veterans go through the doors each week.

Mr Price was diagnosed with PTSD after leaving the Forces - since leaving he's made it his mission to bring together the military community in his area.

A purpose-built gym is available for visitors.

Mr Price said: "It's just a really good family environment.

"The whole idea of this place is to make people come in and just feel like they can get away from the real world for a while."

Everyone from veterans to current serving members of the Armed Forces and the local community are welcome at the centre.

A local therapist and hairdresser also visit the centre once a week for free.

A purpose-built gym has recently been installed and a sensory garden is used by the more outdoor-orientated among the visitors.

Jimmy Levene said he has not felt as happy as he is now in a long time:

"It really was the end before this. I'm actually smiling, which is something I haven't done for years."

The sensory garden outside the hub.

Ninety-five-year-old World War Two veteran John Grigg visits the centre several times a week.

"It's companionship really, a feeling of being welcomed. I live alone."

Andy intends to keep the hub open over the festive period, to ensure anyone who feels lonely or wants to come in, can do so.