Veterans

Plymouth Café Fundraising To Extend Support For Vulnerable And Veterans

The Garage Café is hoping to raise £25,000 to renovate rooms above its premises, including a room dedicated to those with PTSD.

A café supporting homeless and vulnerable people, including veterans, is on a fundraising mission to transform its facilities.

The Garage Café in Plymouth is undertaking an ambitious project to overhaul rooms above its premises into useable spaces to include shower facilities, a free haircutting service and a room for people with PTSD.

The venue already provides a hot meal to anyone who needs it every day of the week, helping about 50 people each night.

But after more than two years of offering support, the café is now looking to increase the help it provides. 

Jason Parsons, who volunteers at the café, said at least £25,000 will need to be raised to make the changes a reality, adding: "We've got a lot of renovations and work to be done."

One room in the upstairs of the building will be specifically dedicated for the use of veterans.

Army veteran Stefan Daniel volunteers at the Garage Café.

Former soldier Stefan Daniel, who volunteers at the café, said: "As a veteran, it's very difficult to ask for help. That's why, I think, a lot of people end up on the street."

He added many veterans are left "fighting on their own" after leaving the military.

"You’re kind of programmed to be brave, not to ask for help, not to show weakness," said Mr Daniel, who served for 26 years from the age of 16 and suffers from PTSD.

He said finding other veterans with similar experiences is crucial for helping people to open up and supports the new veterans' facility at the café.

Mr Daniel also has his own project, ‘The Warrior Within’, encouraging veterans suffering from PTSD not to suffer in silence and hopes more individuals can be reached by the upgrades at the Garage Café.