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Meet the team: Veterans Outreach Worker Siobhan

Experienced mental health worker Siobhan Hemmett has been an integral part of Combat2Coffee’s outreach services since starting as a volunteer in 2021.

Siobhan then joined us full-time in February 2022, bringing with her mental health support experience from previous roles at Suffolk User Forum and Suffolk Constabulary.

She said: “I used to see Nigel’s posts on Facebook about the events he was organising and I was interested to learn more.

“The more I learnt about veterans and their mental health the more I wanted to help. I have a lot of experience in mental health working on the suicide prevention strategy at Suffolk User Forum and as a co-ordinator for the police.  

“My family have always joked that I’m like Florence Nightingale because I love helping people so much!”

As our Veterans Outreach Worker, Siobhan meets veterans and their families across the county to discuss their needs and is in charge of organising Combat2Coffee events in the community.

That includes our veterans’ breakfasts, with our mornings at Paul’s Sports and Social Club in Ipswich proving increasingly popular.

Siobhan added: “I absolutely love these kinds of events. They bring back that feeling of camaraderie to veterans’ lives and remind them that people care.

“I love our mission and how we genuinely listen to people and help them with whatever they need. We highlight their voices and save lives.

“It is also great going out on the road with the van and taking the time to talk to people. Taking the time to sit and listen over a coffee – whether that takes five minutes or two hours can make such a difference.

“Knowing you have helped someone is such a great feeling.”

Joining Combat2Coffee also inspired Siobhan to learn more about her family’s own rich military past, including her First World War hero great-great-uncle Richard McFadden.

The professional footballer for Leyton Orient had already made headlines for his heroic exploits off the pitch in saving the lives of a man from a burning building and an 11-year-old boy from the River Lea before joining the 17th Battalion Middlesex Regiment.

The Military Medal recipient later died in action while leading his men near Serre-lès-Puisieux, France.

Siobhan added: “It feels like such a nice link to him to now be working for a veterans’ organisation that is linked to a football club in Ipswich Town.”

Outside of work, Siobhan is active in her local community in west Suffolk and loves spending time with her family and pet cockapoo, Luna.

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