I need support

Meet the team: Operations and Outreach Assistant Cliff

Working with Combat2Coffee is helping veterans rediscover “a lost sense of camaraderie”, said Operations and Outreach Assistant Cliff Baldock.

Cliff initially joined the team as a part-time ambassador after leaving Suffolk Constabulary in 2020, having also served alongside Nigel in the Royal Anglian Regiment in the 1990s.

The former infantryman had been diagnosed with PTSD and felt he had lost a sense of direction before Nigel introduced him to his idea for a social enterprise.

He said: “I first met Nigel when I joined the army – there was a group of us Ipswich boys who always stuck together.

“I was in the police for 26 years after I left the forces and my colleagues had started to notice some differences in me. I was later diagnosed with PTSD.

“When Nigel told me about the project, I thought ‘what a great idea’. It is something I’m really passionate about.”

Cliff became full-time in 2022 and has since become an integral part of our operations.

His diverse role sees him work at our Coffee Cell shop in Ipswich town centre, make deliveries to our outlets and partners like his beloved Ipswich Town FC, and join the outreach team for community events.

He added: “I love the events. You get to meet really nice people and make inroads to support them in their recovery.

“We aren’t only supporting veterans. Those working in the blue lights sector have previously not been given access to the mental health support they need, so I’m incredibly passionate about supporting them.

“But we will never turn away from someone who approaches us asking for help. No matter their background.

“One memory that will always stick out to me is a man coming to speak to us at an event in London. I took him aside for a chat and he later told me I was the first person he had ever spoken to about his mental health.

“It is all about supporting people like that and using coffee as a vehicle for conversation.

“As our operations continue to grow I look forward to helping spread our message far and wide.”

Outside of Combat2Coffee, the Ipswich Town fanatic can regularly be found cheering on the Tractor Boys, playing golf or taking his beloved cockapoo Dexter for walks in the Suffolk countryside.

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