OFFICIAL LAUNCH EVENT
Brooke House Health and Wellbeing Centre- the unique and visionary project supporting retired police officers and military veterans who’ve been physically injured or psychologically impacted by their service- was officially launched on Tuesday 30 April at a beautiful event held at Colebrooke Park.
The event was officially opened by The Viscount Brookeborough KG. Master of Ceremonies Paul Clark introduced to the stage Joan Clements – Brooke House Director, Steven Inman - Strategic Grants Manager from the Armed Forces Covenant Trust, and finally the keynote speaker Simon Weston CBE, Veteran of the Falklands War, who received a standing ovation for his inspirational and moving address.
The event received widespread media coverage and was widely attended by politicians, serving police and military personnel, in addition to representatives of organisations and charities which support retired police officers and military veterans.
Music was provided and guests were invited for Afternoon Tea following the event. Guided tours of the Walled Garden at Colebrooke were available for those guests who wished to partake.
During her address Brooke House Director Joan Clements said:
“I am delighted to be involved in the launch of this new innovative service offering multi-disciplinary support to meet the assessed needs of individuals and their families in a unique and wonderful setting. It is a great privilege to have military veteran Simon Weston as our guest speaker here today.”
“I would like to acknowledge and thank The Viscount and Viscountess Brookeborough for their welcome to myself and the Brooke House Team.”
“I would like to thank the Ely Centre Board and Staff for their part in having the vision to apply and secure the funding to begin this new project.”
“I would like to acknowledge the support of the Brooke House Steering Committee who have taken on their role with vigor and commitment and finally I would like to thank Steven Inman from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for providing the funding and the flexibility to develop the service at Brooke House to meet assessed need.”
OVERVIEW OF BROOKE HOUSE PROJECT
Brooke House Health and Wellbeing Centre is a charitable project funded by the Chancellor through LIBOR funds. It will provide bespoke treatment and care through a range of support services.
This new scheme specifically seeks to support retired Royal Ulster Constabulary GC Officers, Reserve Officers, and their families, who currently reside in or were permanently based in the counties of Armagh, Fermanagh or Tyrone during their service pre-4th November 2001.
The project will also support military veterans from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force discharged after 1st January 2008, and their families, who reside in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.
Therapies and treatments will be delivered within Colebrooke Estate and at various locations throughout Northern Ireland. These include: residential respite and retreat programmes, trauma focused psychological therapy, physiotherapy, complementary therapy, nature based therapy, activity days and social events.
The Brooke House project is governed by the Ely Centre - a registered charity which specialises in the provision of multi-disciplinary support services for civilians, security force personnel and their families, who have been bereaved or injured as a result of the ‘Troubles’. (www.elycentre.com)
LIBOR Funds: The funding comes from fines levied on the banking industry for manipulating the LIBOR rate. In 2012, HM Treasury announced that “the proceeds from LIBOR fines would be used to support Armed Forces and Emergency Services charities and other related good causes that represent those that demonstrate the very best of values.” HM Treasury has asked the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust to administer the grants they have awarded.
Guest speaker Simon Weston CBE: When the RFA Sir Galahad was destroyed during the Falklands War, in 1982, on board was Simon Weston, Welsh Guardsman. Simon was severely injured, sustaining serious burns to 46% of his body. He has become well-known across the United Kingdom and abroad for his struggle to overcome his injuries and redefine his role in life, and his message is one of achievement, of triumph in the face of adversity, and of seizing the moment and succeeding. (www.simonweston.com)