Minister Simon Coveney launches Defence Forces Personnel Support Service Resource Centre & Veteran Support Centre in Cork
On the 29th November 2021, the Department of Defence, the Defence Forces and Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann or ONE Veterans Charity launched the Personnel Support Service Resource Centre (PSS), as well as a new Veterans’ Support Centre at Collins Barracks, Co. Cork.
The PSS centre, which was officially opened by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney TD, Jacqui Mc Crum Secretary General Dept of Defence and Defence Forces Chief of Staff Lt General Seán Clancy, is a facility that hosts a team of trained military personnel and occupational social workers, who offer support to members of the Defence Forces and their families.
ONE is a registered Irish charity for Defence Forces veterans and provides support to veterans, with the ultimate goal of improving mental health and preventing homelessness.
The PSS was established to sustain and enhance the wellbeing of individual Defence Forces members and to support a safe and positive working environment for all military personnel. There are PSS teams in all Defence Forces installations throughout Ireland, and direct support is also available to all personnel deployed overseas. Contact with the centre is entirely confidential and includes support, guidance, and engagement with community services, for all Defence Forces members and their families.
Also present at the event, which had its numbers significantly reduced due to COVID-19 guidelines, were Brigadier General Brian Cleary, General Officer Commanding 1 Brigade, and the National President of the Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel Diarmuid Higgins and Patsy Dineen the National Deputy Chairman of the Irish United Nations Veterans Association (IUNVA).
The new Veteran Support Centre provides veterans with advice, information, and an opportunity to bond with fellow comrades, in an effort to alleviate social stresses.
ONE has 37 branches and 15 Veterans Support Centres around Ireland, 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, over 1,000 veterans have been supported by ONE, 90% of which go on to access permanent housing.
Commenting on the unveiling of a previous Veteran Support Centre, Chairperson of ONE Colm Campbell said: “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, Dept. of Defence, and the Defence Forces for bringing this project too fruition.
Minister for Defence Simon Coveney said, “the completion of this new facility provides all-inclusive facilities to cater for the provision of the Personnel Support Service and the Veterans Support Centre at Collins Barracks. It will provide support facilities for both serving personnel, Defence Forces veterans and their families in a private area where issues of a sensitive nature can be addressed”.
For more info on ONE Services’, please visit: https://www.one-veterans.org/services/
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