The Armed Forces Coffee Support Organization is thriving

6:00 a.m. March 1, 2022

From strength to strength, award-winning mental health support organization Combat2Coffee is launching a new van to expand their services.

Founded in 2018, Combat2Coffee operates two coffee shops in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds that provide a space for veterans struggling with mental health issues.

Former Army veteran and prison officer Nigel Seaman founded the organization after getting the idea while taking a stress management class after his own diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Nigel Seaman with Colin Felton, Essex Freemasons Charity Steward and Chris Lee, a member of Lodge XV who originally recommended the charity for a bursary.
– Credit: Freemasons of Essex

Combat2Coffee stores are located on Northgate Street, Ipswich and Guildhall Street, Bury St Edmunds.

Barista training and qualifications are also offered by the organization, which not only helps veterans but has also established a connection with Hollesley Bay Prison to support their community. This allowed Combat2Coffee to continue its work while the cafes were closed.

A grant of £34,000, courtesy of the Essex Freemasons Community Fund, has now enabled the organization to invest in a new van, allowing them to extend their services to Essex.

The van will also help reach those in need who are unwilling to go outside and serve them coffee at their doorstep.

Mr Seaman said: “We are here to provide training and education for veterans who may be under a rehabilitation directive or who are looking for some extra support.

“We work with veterans and their families to train them in new skills and provide support to those who need it with job search help or support where possible.

“The van, which would not have been possible without the help of local Freemasons, will allow us to reach any part of Essex and help many more former veterans. The scholarship has really changed our work.”

Colin Felton, Provincial Charity Steward for Essex Freemasons, said: “Nigel is doing an incredible and inspiring work in the community and I am delighted that we have been able to help this charity expand their important work across Essex.”

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