Yesterday, Tuesday 4 October we held our 7th Veterans Information Roadshow at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast, and were honoured that the Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, Michelle Kelly and the Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Scott Carson were able to attend in support, as well as Veterans Champions James Tinsley and Sharon McKillop.
The Veterans Information Roadshows have been instrumental in not just linking veterans with support services available to them, but also allowing veteran friendly organisations to engage and collaborate together in a post pandemic era. So much was lost in the 2 years of restrictions and lockdowns that now more than ever outreach is provided to those who need help the most.
At our roadshows we have welcomed in excess of 25+ supportive organisations at each (both local and national organisations) that have assisted in reaching out into the veteran community. We have been successful in providing face to face information to veterans of all ages, as well as signposting veterans who were in much need of help in specific areas. From employment to gardening, well being to breakfast clubs, and benevolence to mental health, there is a world of accessible services available to veterans living in Northern Ireland.
While a lot of veterans services in Northern Ireland are charitable based, this does not detract from the effectiveness, approachability and delivery that they achieve. If anything Veterans living in Northern Ireland can usually expect a more sympathetic and discreet service due to the historical political sensitivities that affected nearly all of us in some way.
The message to take away is ‘don’t be put off’, help is there for those that need it and no one should suffer alone, feel lost, forgotten or feel like they have no one on their side. The veterans community is a large one, and just like in our service days the brother and sisterhoods are still very much there.
Being a veteran and living in Northern Ireland no longer needs to be as secretive as it once was. Should you need any help, advice or guidance from those who are sympathetic to service life and sensitive to the discretion needed, please get in touch.
Northern Ireland Veterans Commissioner’s Office Tel: 02825 483169 Email: email@example.com
Northern Ireland Veterans Support Office Tel: 02895 216784 Email: Veterans Support Office