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  • Writer's pictureSam Carter-knight

VETERANS Hub Isle of Wight

Updated: Feb 4

In the heart of the Isle of Wight, a dedicated group of individuals, led by veteran Dale Hillier, has transformed a vision into reality with the creation of the Veterans Hub Isle of Wight. Established as a Community Interest Company in November 2020, this hub has become a lifeline for military veterans, serving personnel, and their families, offering support for financial hardships, trauma, isolation, and overall well-being.

Origins of the Veterans Hub:

Driven by the understanding that the Isle of Wight is home to a significant number of military veterans, Dale Hillier, a Falklands War veteran, conceptualized the Veterans Hub Isle of Wight. Alongside two like-minded friends with diverse business experience, they turned an idea into a community-driven business. Through unwavering community support and grants, the Veterans Hub evolved rapidly, securing a premises in Ryde High Street that officially opened its doors on December 17, 2021.

A Safe Haven and Community Space:

The Veterans Hub Isle of Wight serves as more than just a physical space; it is a safe haven for veterans across the island. Open from Monday to Friday, 10.00 hrs to 15.00 hrs, the hub invites veterans to drop in for a chat, a cup of tea, or coffee. The team behind the hub is actively engaged on Facebook, sharing news, support, and veterans' stories, fostering a sense of community even beyond the physical space.

The Veterans Bar: A New Social Hub:

Expanding their impact, the Veterans Hub secured a new premises on Ryde seafront, the former 'Marine Pub,' now transformed into the Veterans Bar. This space provides another avenue for the community to gather, socialize, and support the hub's remarkable work. The pub serves as both a social space and a fundraising platform for the ongoing efforts of the Veterans Hub.

The Veterans Hotel: A Haven for Healing:

Determined to address the issue of veteran homelessness and provide well-deserved respite holidays, the Veterans Hub turned their attention to the former 'Marine Pub' upstairs, converting it into the Veterans Hotel. This non-profit Community Interest Company ensures that no veteran remains homeless on the Isle of Wight, offering a haven for healing and rest.

Dale Hillier, the driving force behind the Veterans Hub, shares a personal connection with the struggles of veterans. Serving during the Falklands War, Dale battles with PTSD, experiencing flashbacks, nightmares, depression, and anxiety. His own journey of healing led him to establish the Veterans Hub, driven by a profound desire to support others facing similar challenges.

The Veterans Hub Isle of Wight is on a mission to combat the alarming rates of veteran suicides, PTSD, and isolation. It stands as a beacon of hope, offering not just a physical space but a community-driven initiative dedicated to changing lives. Dale Hillier's commitment to serving those who served is a testament to the power of compassion, community, and the enduring spirit of our military heroes.

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