Supporting Our Veterans
Ards and North Down Borough Council signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2015 in recognition of the cross-party support for our local Armed Forces personnel. This covenant is our public pledge to continue to support the local Armed Forces community: the Army, the Naval Service and the Royal Air Force.
We are committed to supporting veterans in our council area. Many veterans face challenging times after leaving the Armed Forces and we want to ensure that all veterans receive the support and care they deserve. Working closely with the Veterans Commissioner for Northern Ireland, Danny Kinahan and The Northern Ireland Veterans' Support Office, the council has put together this webpage to ensure that our local veterans can access support and services to assist them to adapt to civilian life after retirement.
Existing support in Ards and North Down (and across Northern Ireland) can be accessed via this link: Support Organisations - Northern Ireland Veterans Support Office | NIVSO
Access the Mental Health Guide via this link: A Guide to Veterans’ Mental Health Provision in Northern Ireland
The Northern Ireland Veterans’ Support Office (NIVSO) is based in Belfast and is the lead support and signposting service linking veterans, veterans’ groups, statutory and non-statutory bodies, and charities supporting veterans in Northern Ireland. They build the capacity to deliver the Armed Forces Covenant in Northern Ireland, and educate key players within local communities regarding the needs of veterans, offering solutions to problems, suggestions and ideas, advocacy, signposting and practical help on issues including:
- Financial support
- Health and wellbeing
- Pensions and benefits
The committee has produced a Veterans' Handbook which is designed to be a signpost to local agencies.
A Veterans’ Champion is a volunteer role held by an elected member of council. There are 11 Veterans’ Champions throughout Northern Ireland, representing each constituency across the province. Veterans’ Champions have a deep-seated passion for aiding and uplifting veterans. They serve as a point of contact and support for veterans and their families, understanding the unique challenges veterans may face, working to bridge the gap between veterans and their communities. These champions are advocates, connectors, and sources of advice and support.
The Veterans' Champion in Ards and North Down is Alderman Trevor Cummings.
Contact Trevor on 07889 678490 or email@example.com
Veterans' Commissioner for Northern Ireland
In August 2020, Danny Kinahan was appointed as the first Veterans’ Commissioner for Northern Ireland, to act as an independent point of contact to support and enhance outcomes for veterans in Northern Ireland. Danny Kinahan is a former Army Officer, who served as Ulster Unionist Party MP for South Antrim from 7 May 2015 - 3 May 2017. He was a member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for six years prior to serving as an MP. He is also the co-ordinator and co-creator of the Westminster Northern Ireland Veterans’ Support Group and is Deputy Lieutenant for County Antrim.
Tel: 028 9052 7734