In September 2019, AFMET opened Blighty’s Coffee Lounge, so that the wider community have a place to simply have a hot drink, some lunch, and a chat.
Since opening, the team have experienced a significant increase in demand for its services. They are now hosting Military Uckers Championships, and Bridge and Table Tennis Armed Forces community integration tournaments.
Blighty’s Coffee Lounge was named not only after the term for Great Britain (military slang is used throughout The Knoll and when speaking to the team), but after Blighty the Bear, a character created by Business and Tourism Graduate and long-time AFMET volunteer, Tanya.
Blighty is our 6ft mascot bear who represents AFMET at military and community events throughout the country. Tanya said: “We wanted a character to engage more families in Armed Forces Weekend, so Blighty became our mascot. We’ve had cuddly bears made for people to buy, which helps us in our fundraising and our sustainability, and we have the costume which we take to events throughout the year. Children love to see him and give him a cuddle.”