by Rebecca Hannant
Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart visited charities and organisations across Withernsea last week, including the Armed Forces Breakfast Club, Shores and the Withernsea Pier and Promenade Association.
On Friday, January 13, Mr Stuart visited several organisations to learn about the impact they are having on the people across the area.
He started his Withernsea tour at the Armed Forces Breakfast Club, which offers a “butty, brew and banter”.
Between 35-40 people attend the breakfast club, which meets on the first and third Saturdays of each month. The club is a place people can socialise, have a filling breakfast and receivesupport with any problems they may have for a suggested donation of £1.50.
Withernsea Armed Forces Veterans Breakfast Club was founded in 2021 as an opportunity for veterans and service members from all branches of the armed forces, including reservists, to join.
During his visit, Mr Stuart enjoyed a coffee and some food with some of the club’s members. He learned about the important role it plays to ensure people feel part of the community, and also heard about the vital work the veterans do to protect our freedoms.
After the coffee morning, one of the founding members of the club, Kevin Watson, said: “It was great to host Graham at our coffee morning so he could see first-hand the club we have created for veterans and serving members to ensure they feel valued and respected.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the generous individuals and businesses that have supported us over the past two years to create this club, without whom much of what we do would not be possible.”
Following his visit, Mr Stuart said: “As a huge admirer of Beverley and Holderness’s veterans’ community I am so impressed by the brilliant work that Kevin and everyone involved in Withernsea Armed Forces Veterans Breakfast Club have done to establish and support this great community.”
Mr Stuart later visited the Shores centre and the Withernsea Pier and Promenade Association.
Speaking after visiting all three organisations, he said: “It’s people like [Withernsea Royal British Legion president] Darren England and [Shores CEO] Jayne Nendick, and many others across Withernsea, who help organise and build a sense of community.
“They are coming together to help the community, stay together and help each other. It’s great to see that. Withernsea has always been very lucky to have inspiring people who help and volunteer, and make things happen which benefit everybody.”
Mr Stuart also outlined his hopes for the future of Withernsea including its economic situation, and the wellbeing of local people.
He said: “Withernsea has its challenges – it is isolated. We know that demography means that there is a lower car ownership compared with other areas, there are a lot of people on benefits, a lot of people with ill health.
“It does mean that there is more pressure/ benefit from those who step up and help coordinate things.
“It is not just material things like paying for your food, or paying your energy bills – everyone also has a need for a social life and an opportunity to meet and chat to people.
“I am always interested in ideas on how we can strengthen the economy. Because of its geographical location it’s not always the most obvious place for companies to base operations.
“My number one thing I would like to see in Withernsea is a more diverse economic situation which will help lead to a strong economy, as well as a strong social and a strong public service system.
“We need balance, and I think we have an imbalance now. I am looking for any opportunities to encourage people to base businesses here or operate any form of operational branch here.”