Support Centre for Defence Forces Veterans Opens in McKee Barracks
On Friday, November 12th, the Defence Forces, along with the Dept of Defence and ONE Veterans Charity opened a Veteran Support Centre (VSC) in McKee Barracks, Dublin.
The VSC provides veterans with advice, information and an opportunity to bond with fellow veterans, in an effort to provide ex-members of the Defence Forces with relief and alleviate social stresses. ONE offers homeless Defence Forces veterans housing and support, with the ultimate goal of accessing permanent accommodation, improving mental health and preventing future homelessness.
The centre was officially opened by Brig-General Tony Cudmore, General Officer Commanding 2 Brigade, OC McKee Bks Comdt Des O’Reilly, Chairperson of ONE Colm Campbell, along with Michael Kinahan, who is the Chairperson of the ONE Sgt Pat Mulcahy DSM Branch (McKee Barracks).
Commenting on the unveiling of the ONE Veterans Support Centre in Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin, Chairperson of ONE Colm Campbell said: “ONE Veteran Support Centres can be described as a cross between a Mens’ / Womens’ Shed and an Advice Centre. ONE opened its first two centres in 2012 in Dundalk and Limerick and following a comprehensive case in December 2017, the Minister for Defence agreed to help ONE expand this. Eleven of the centres are in military installations, with four outside barracks in Athy, Cavan, Cobh, and Limerick. ONE wishes to thank the Minister for Defence, Department of Defence, and the Defence Forces for bringing this project to fruition.”
Brig-General Tony Cudmore also commented: “Within 2 Brigade and working with the Dept. of Defence, we are delighted to partner with ONE in providing support services for veterans of the Defence Forces. This… is another important part of the support structures that we are providing to support our veterans.”
When an additional two centres are open soon, the charity will operate 15 Veteran Support Centres throughout Ireland, where members have access to a designated support team and confidential male and female counsellors, trained to listen and provide support across a wide spectrum of concerns, including addiction, homelessness, mental health problems and trauma.
ONE has 37 branches, along with four hostels for homeless veterans, located in Letterkenny, Cobh, Dublin and Athlone. The hostels offer 54 beds per night and 20,000 beds annually to veterans who would otherwise be homeless. To date, 1,000 veterans have been supported by ONE and 90% of people go on to access permanent housing.
Brig-General Tony Cudmore is pictured speaking to Peter Keogh in a wheelchair, along with other veterans who were present.
For more info on ONE Services’, please visit: https://www.one-veterans.org/services/
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