The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has approved a grant of just under £150,000 for works on the Bognor Regis RAFA Branch Club in Waterloo Square.
The Branch chairman, Cliff Mewett, was delighted. He said: “When the works are completed we will have an RAF Association Branch Club second to none, which will provide facilities that will better support veterans from all branches of the services, provide a good standard of catering and we will have a building in which we can enjoy, with the community, all the social activities we have enjoyed in the past.
“For many charities, Covid-19 is presenting immense challenges, so the award of the grant is very welcome news. The rates grant and the furlough support for our staff have been a great help in getting us through this difficult period. We are also immensely grateful to those loyal members who have continued to pay their membership subscriptions, even adding significant donations in some cases.
“A core of dedicated and committed volunteers have been keeping things going, contacting our members and providing support to those in need. Whether it was for shopping for groceries, delivery of medicines, even emergency repairs to their homes or just a friendly voice on the end of a telephone, our volunteers have been there for them. Some have been raising much needed funds through the sale of books and plants, making face masks and keeping our spirits high with running open mic’s and quizzes.
“Apart from the funded works making the Club a more vibrant, comfortable and energy efficient place to come and enjoy, the most significant improvement will be to the catering facilities. This will allow us to provide bar food on a daily basis, more substantial lunches at the weekends and themed nights.
“Veterans’ Breakfasts, which we started in March, will continue and we will be able to provide military style dining in nights (right) for veterans and serving personnel.
“We also look forward to sharing our facilities with the community for national and local events, festivals and as a place for local businesses and groups to meet, to hold seminars and for training.”