Many veterans face challenging times after leaving the armed forces and the council wants to ensure that all former service personnel receive the support and care they deserve.
The council is working closely with Veterans’ Commissioner for Northern Ireland Danny Kinahan and The Northern Ireland Veterans’ Support Office to help signpost veterans within the borough to the support services available to them.
A website will be dedicated to helping veterans which will include, financial, housing, legal, pensions, mental health and loneliness support.
Ald Paul Michael BEM is the council Veterans’ Champion and acts as a point of contact for anyone in Antrim and Newtownabbey borough with issues regarding veterans and will consult with the NIVSC to provide advice and assistance.
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Jim Montgomery said: “The Armed Forces Covenant says that ‘Together we acknowledge and understand that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives’.
“As a society we must take that obligation seriously, and treat it as a solemn promise.
“Many veterans face hardship after leaving service. We must try and remove any stigma attached to asking for help and promote the services widely available to those who served and I’m proud the council is working actively in partnership with the Veterans’ Commissioner for Northern Ireland and The Northern Ireland Veterans’ Support Office.”
Veterans’ Commissioner for Northern Ireland Danny Kinahan added: “I am really pleased to see Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council leading the way in providing support to our veterans, and I look forward to seeing all councils doing the same and recognising the immense contribution that our veterans have made on behalf of all of us.”
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