A NEW social group for former members of the armed forces has been set up in Ryedale.

The group, which is run by Ex-Forces Support North Yorkshire (EFSNY) , aims to bring past members of the armed forces together.

Members meet on the second Wednesday of the month at The Wentworth Arms in Old Malton to chat, reminisce and meet others over a midday meal.

Sessions are open to those over the age of 50 with an armed forces background, including those who completed National Service and those who were in the Merchant Navy.

EFSNY Development Officer, Colleen Allwood, who has been involved in setting up the group said: “As a project we are really passionate about ensuring that our older ex-service men and women have the opportunity to socialise and get together.

“We have all seen the positive benefit that regular interaction with other like-minded individuals can have on combating loneliness and isolation, and are keen to encourage groups such as this one to grow and develop so that the community as a whole is better connected. “

Colleen said: “We have had invaluable input from local ex-service groups in the area and we hope that the group will be a lasting legacy of the project, continuing to support past members of the armed forces for years to come.”

EFSNY supports past members of the armed forces over the age of 65 and those who completed National Service, through funding from the Aged Veterans Fund.

It also aims to raise awareness of the issues former members of the armed forces face in later life and retirement, offering practical and customised support to veterans to enable them to lead fuller lives in the way they would prefer.

EFSNY also provides a range of support through a number of local partners led by Community First Yorkshire.

For more information phone 01904 704177or go to communityfirstyorkshire.org.uk/projects/ex-forces-support-north-yorkshire-aged-veterans-fund/