A leading Suffolk social enterprise has officially opened its new training academy as it looks to bolster its work in transforming the lives of veterans.
Combat2Coffee boss Nigel Seaman was joined by the High Sheriff of Suffolk, Mark Pendlington DL, at its Handford Cut HQ to unveil the new space and industrial roastery.
The space will be used to train former veterans to become baristas.
Nigel said: “It was a true honour to welcome the High Sheriff and officially open our training academy – a space that is going to help transform the lives of veterans returning to the civilian world.
“Our mission is to change the world, one sip at a time – and being able to both train new baristas while increasing the scale of our operations with our new roastery is going to help us achieve that goal.
“These are very exciting times for our organisation.”
Combat2Coffee was formed in 2018 as a way to help Nigel, himself a Royal Anglian veteran, support other former forces personnel with their mental health.
It also operates a commercial arm as part of the Vertas Group.
Dozens of guests from across the local business, third sector and emergency services landscape were also invited to join in the celebrations.
Mr Pendlington said: “It was fantastic to meet Nigel and unveil this new training academy.
“Nigel is a man of great personal courage and his work is having a profound effect on the lives of veterans here in Suffolk.
“It was an honour to learn more about his incredible story and the amazing work his team are doing in our community.”
Other speakers included fellow veteran Caroline Beazley, who shared her physical and mental health recovery story after suffering life-changing injuries while serving in Northern Ireland.
She added: “Nigel, with the unwavering support of his friends, isn’t just reshaping his life – but making a monumental impact on the lives of veterans through his outreach.
“Combat2Coffee’s vision is clear and unwavering – to amplify support for veterans using the transformative power of coffee and conversation.
“Suffolk stands testament to its mission, which is genuinely saving lives.”
More information on Combat2Coffee can be found at www.combat2coffee.co.uk.