Veterans charity launches Women’s Uniform
Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann (ONE) launches new female uniform designed by Veteran Tracy Connolly as part of their new Diversity & Inclusion Strategy
IRELAND- ONE, a registered charity for veterans of the Irish Defence Forces has launched a new female uniform to encourage female veterans to join its ranks as part of its diversity and inclusion strategy. This new strategy aims to attract more women, minorities, disabled and younger to consider joining ONE when they leave active duty. The initiative follows the election of Tracy Connolly as a new director to the board.
The optional uniform consists of a tailored blazer, blouse, a fitted skirt, or trousers and was designed by Defence Forces veteran and ONE board member, Tracy Connolly and her team. Tracy served at home and abroad for over 23 years, serving in Kosovo and Lebanon as a peacekeeper. It is the first female-specific uniform to be unveiled as part of the Irish Defence Forces Veterans Charity and is one of many new actions taken to encourage female veterans to join ONE.
The first uniform is in recognition of the crucial role women play within the Defence Forces and the steady rise in the number of female veterans. It is estimated that 1,468 women across Ireland have served within the Defence Forces since 1980. A target of 15% female representation within the Defence Forces by 2025 has been set, with women currently making up 7% of the Defence Forces, with 603 currently serving.
Earlier this year, ONE’s Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisor, Deirdre Carbery, conducted an internal and external review which found that women, in particular, felt a need for greater visibility and pro-female initiatives. Based on the findings of the review, ONE launched its Diversity & Inclusion strategy at this year’s Fuchsia Appeal launch to encourage traditionally under-represented groups, such as younger veterans, women, disabled, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other people of colour) and members of the Travelling community and the LGBTQ community to consider joining ONE.
ONE also plans to expand its existing mental health and wellbeing supports, as part of its D&I strategy. ONE also offers a counselling service and is there to listen and to provide veterans with direct access to a designated Veteran Support Team and ONE’s Confidential Counselling Service. ONE has male and female counsellors on our team who are available to meet over the phone or in person.
ONE’s existing supports come in addition to support measures for members of the Defence Forces including the Defence Forces Personnel Support Service (PSS), a 24-hour counselling service and notably, an independent organisation appointed as Confidential Contact Person (CCP),
The Personnel Support Service (PSS) incorporates a team of trained military personnel and occupational social workers supporting serving members of the Defence Forces and their families. PSS are working to sustain and enhance the individual wellbeing of personnel and promote a safe and positive work culture in the Defence Forces. A 24-hour confidential counselling service has also been established to provide a referral and support service on a wide range of personal and work-related issues. Entitled INSPIRE, the service is available to serving personnel of the Defence Forces, to their partners or spouses and to their adult children living at home.
Another initiative to further encourage persons negatively impacted by their service to come forward has been the appointment of a Confidential Contact Person (CCP). A totally independent body, Raiseaconcern is outside of the Defence Forces Chain of Command and the Defence Organisation. Its role is to assist persons who have been victims of sexual harassment, abuse, and other harmful behaviours, by listening to them and helping them document their complaints in a safe, supportive, and independent environment.
ONE Board member and Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor, Deirdre Carbery commented:
“As part of our new Diversity & Inclusion Strategy, we are drawing upon the widest possible set of backgrounds, talents and skills to maximise our veteran support services, adapt to the changing needs of our veterans and are taking advantage of new opportunities and partnerships. The feedback was that women don’t want to look like men, they want to embrace their femininity and to feel valued and seen for being a woman. We, in ONE, promise to provide a community and a space that is giving equity of opportunity to all veterans to be seen, to be valued and to reach their own individual potential.”
ONE offers homeless Defence Forces veterans housing and support, with the ultimate goal of accessing permanent accommodation, improving mental health and preventing future homelessness.
For details of how to contact your local PSS team, or for any other information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can make initial contact with the CCP by phoning 01 6107929/086 0299929 or emailing email@example.com
To access INSPIRE, please call 1800-409-673. The personnel serving overseas can access the service using 00-353-1-685-681. INSPIRE services are not available for veterans or their families.
To get direct access to ONE’s designated Veteran Support Team and our Confidential Counselling Service, please call 086-138-0825.
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