Published date: 14 November 2022

Dan Poulter MP visits The Unity Centre to mark remembrance day

Unity Through Remembrance - A remembrance themed afternoon at the Unity Centre

On Friday 11th November 2022, the Unity Centre hosted a poppy themed craft afternoon to mark Remembrance Day. Veterans and people from the local community were welcomed to the Unity Centre to join in with some poppy themed craft activities, learn about local support for our veteran community and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in the community café based in the Whitton Clinic. The day was an opportunity for people to come together in support of veterans as well showcase the services on offer at the Centre.

The cafe, run by Combat2Coffee was founded by Nigel Seaman who served in the armed forces for 12 years before a career as a prison officer. The café provides rehabilitation, training, and outreach for veterans as well as other vulnerable people who may be suffering from mental health problems.

Combat2Coffee is one of many organisations delivering services from the Unity Centre. The centre functions as an NHS Social Prescribing hub and was established in 2021 through a consortium of organisations, who were successful in gaining funding from the Community Ambition Fund. The aim is to provide a programme of social prescribing services to support health inequalities within Whitton and the surrounding areas.  These include P.H.O.E.B.E, Fresh Start New Beginnings, Suffolk Refugee Support and Active Suffolk who work with local GPs and other partners to support individuals to improve their health and wellbeing.  NHS services also continue to be delivered from this site.

The Unity Centre was refurbished by NHS Property Services who identified vacant space within the Whitton Clinic and repurposed this unused clinical setting for the benefit of the community. NHS Property Services runs a national programme for Social Prescribing and have now turned over 50 spaces into new hubs that are now occupied by a range of charities and community organisations. 

Rhea Horlock, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at NHS Property Services said: “We are happy to see the space at the Unity Centre being used to deliver their important services locally and host events like these.  We are committed to utilising our estate to promote community wellbeing through our social prescribing programme, and this partnership will help reduce strains on primary care over the winter and the coming years”. 

Jane Crawford, Personalised Care Programme Manager in Ipswich and East Suffolk Alliance (SNEE ICB) said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Veterans and members of the local community to the Unity Centre this afternoon.  It has been a great opportunity to come together to remember all those who have served and enable our Partner organisations to showcase both the support for Veterans and also the fantastic organisations working collaboratively within this community hub”.