A strong voice for NI Veterans

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Visits Northern Ireland

Meeting Veterans and families at Brooke House Health & wellbeing centre

On February 5th and 6th of this year, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Johnny Mercer MP, embarked on a significant visit to Northern Ireland. His itinerary included visits and discussions with veterans and veteran support organisations across the region.

One of the highlights of the visit was the Minister’s interaction with the newly established Veteran Welfare Service NI. Formerly known as the After-Care Service for the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) and Royal Irish (Home Service) veterans, the service underwent a rebranding to adopt a more inclusive approach. Now, it extends its support to veterans from all services and backgrounds, to ensure that all veterans living in Northern Ireland have an access point for dedicated welfare support if needed.

Veterans Welfare Service NI – Support offices and contact details.

During his time in Northern Ireland, the Minister also paid visits to organisations such as Inspire Health and Well-being, the Veterans Support Office, the Defence Medical Welfare Service, and Brooke House in Co Fermanagh. These visits underscored the government’s commitment not only to veterans but also to their families and the wider community. The Defence Medical Welfare Service have recently launched a Veteran Healthcare initiative to act as a point of contact for future referral, and as a specialist clinical support service to veterans seeking advice and guidance with ongoing treatment and lifestyle improvements. Advocacy and support with the navigation of clinical pathways will form part of the project. 

Photos by Office for Veterans Affairs

Minister Mercer’s engagement provided him with a firsthand understanding of the challenges faced by veterans in Northern Ireland. He gained insight into the significant progress that has been made in the region over recent years, while reaffirming his commitment to ensuring that Northern Ireland veterans remain included and supported.

NI Veterans Commissioner, Danny Kinahan alongside Minister for Veterans Affairs, Johnny Mercer MP.

Reflecting on the visit, Northern Ireland veterans have reacted positively having felt heard and valued at the highest levels of government. This has emphasised the importance of having a Minister who understands the unique landscape of Northern Ireland, to underscore government’s dedication to addressing the challenges faced by NI veterans.

If you are a Veteran or know a Veteran who may benefit from Welfare Support, please contact the Veterans Welfare Service NI by Email DBSAFVS-VWS-NI@mod.gov.uk or call 02890 420145.

A strong voice for NI Veterans