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New coffee shop opens in Ipswich town centre to aid local veterans

PUBLISHED: 16:30 14 February 2020

The coffee shop is open inside the existing bicycle shop in Princes Street  Picture: OLIVER SULLIVAN

The coffee shop is open inside the existing bicycle shop in Princes Street Picture: OLIVER SULLIVAN

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A veteran living with post-traumatic stress disorder has moved one step closer to achieving his dream after opening a coffee shop in Ipswich town centre.

Nigel Seaman was inspired to start the company after battling post-traumatic stress disorder  Picture: OLIVER SULLIVANNigel Seaman was inspired to start the company after battling post-traumatic stress disorder Picture: OLIVER SULLIVAN

The new Combat2Coffee store, based in Spokeworx, Princes Street, opened on Friday morning, February 14.

The brainchild of former Royal Anglian Nigel Seaman, 46, the coffee shop raises money for veterans via the charity Combat Stress, while also training veterans to become baristas in the hope of helping their transition back to civilian life.

Mr Seaman said he hopes the coffee shop will provide much-needed support for local veterans while encouraging more people to visit the town centre.

MORE: Army veteran sets up mobile coffee company for veterans

Spokeworx owner Tyree Mckinney said he was inspired by Nigel's story  Picture: OLIVER SULLIVANSpokeworx owner Tyree Mckinney said he was inspired by Nigel's story Picture: OLIVER SULLIVAN

Mr Seaman, who has lived with post-traumatic stress disorder for a number of years, said: "Ipswich lacks a real physical support infrastructure for veterans like us, and this is why I wanted to start things moving.

"I want this to be a place for people to come and talk, to know that there are people out there who care and support for them - but also a place to grab a good cup of coffee.

"Hopefully this can become a success story which sees more of these shops open across the county, helping people who really need us."

MORE: Nigel Seaman handed Star of Suffolk Award in emotional ceremony

Ipswich Conservative MP Tom Hunt said the company has his full support  Picture: OLIVER SULLIVANIpswich Conservative MP Tom Hunt said the company has his full support Picture: OLIVER SULLIVAN

The business had previously only run via mobile coffee caravans before Mr Seaman met Spokeworx owner Tyree Mckinney, who was keen to start selling coffee alongside selling bicycles and cycle parts.

Mr Mckinney said: "It was a no-brainer, really. Seeing how it is now and knowing what it will become makes everything feel so worth it.

"Nigel is such a fantastic guy who I just instantly clicked with.

"Hopefully it will see more people come through the door, learning more about bikes while also providing them the space to be supported by people like Nigel."

Spokeworx has been open in Princes Street for more than two years  Picture: OLIVER SULLIVANSpokeworx has been open in Princes Street for more than two years Picture: OLIVER SULLIVAN

MORE: The importance of looking out for men's mental health

Among the guests at Friday's opening was Ipswich MP Tom Hunt, who said he was "inspired" by Nigel's story and remarkable 11-month growth of the business.

Mr Hunt said: "It doesn't take long to see how much appreciation people have for our soldiers here in Ipswich, what Nigel is doing here is truly outstanding.

"It is great to see a new business in Ipswich and brilliant to see different businesses coming together like they have here."

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