‘I was born into the Defence Forces. I grew up in it’

Breda Graham speaks to the Irish Defence Force’s first female Veteran Support Officer of its charity Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel (ONE).

Audra Larkin, ONE’s new Veteran Support Officer for the Cork and Kerry region highlighted the importance of the charity to those who need its support.

The Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel (ONE) was formed at the Mansion House in Dublin on March 10, 1951.

The new organisation brought together the National Federation of Irish Ex-Servicemen and the Association of Regular Ex-Servicemen, which had emerged following demobilisation after the Emergency.

ONE was strictly non-political and non-sectarian and has remained so to this day.

A registered charity for veterans of the Irish Defence Forces, its primary objective is to support the needs of Irish veterans by the provision of accommodation to homeless veterans in its veterans’ homes and the provision of other advice and support to veterans through its nationwide network of branches and veterans’ support centres.

ONE’s services are available to all veterans of the Defence Forces and the organisation also facilitates homeless veterans from other countries living in Ireland from time to time.

ONE currently provides accommodation for approximately 51 veterans who otherwise would be homeless, in its four residential homes in Cobh, Athlone, Dublin, and Letterkenny.

In Cork, the veterans’ support centre in Cobh provides veterans with information, advice, someone to listen, and somewhere to meet with former comrades.

Described as a cross between advice centres and men’s/women’s sheds, it is hoped that through early intervention at these centres, social stresses and homelessness among veterans will be significantly reduced.

Speaking to The Echo, Audra Larkin, ONE’s new veteran support officer for the Cork and Kerry region, highlighted the importance of the charity to those who need its support.

“What’s important to highlight is that 99.9% of people transition from the Defence Forces into civilian life and are very happy and go on and do very productive things.

Read the full article here: https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/arid-41142853.html

#DefenceForces #Veterans #Charity #Support #Counselling #Service #Veteran #Military #MentalHealth #Listening #Welfare #Wellbeing #Wellness #Community#Team#Helpline #VeteranSupport #VeteransHelpingVeterans #VeteransSupportingVeterans #VeteransAffairs #MentalHealthAwareness #PTSDRecovery #PTSD#Support #Comradeship #ItsGoodToTalk #ItsOKNotToBeOk #ItsOkayNotToBeOkay #NoIrishVeteranLeftBehind