The Ely Centre are delighted to welcome the commencement of the Veterans Commissioner recruitment process. In Nov 2018, HMG issued a consultation document in relation to the Veterans Strategy in order to seek the views on how the strategy outlined in the consultation document can support veterans residing within the UK.
Outlined within The Ely Centre response was the creation/ structure and remit of A new office which the Ely Centre has campaigned for many years which would establish for the first time in Northern Ireland a dedicated Commissioner who will serve, support and champion the issues prevalent within the Veterans Community.
Speaking on this new development, Ely Centre Veterans Welfare Officer Mr Ben Higgins BEM stated “Quite clearly, the overall support structure for veterans in Northern Ireland needed to be reviewed in terms of support and in order to make locally elected members of the assembly, The Executive Office and indeed the MOD or other Government Departments within the UK parliament aware of veterans needs in terms of support. And also to provide them with a balanced view of what is being delivered in Northern Ireland. This new office will enable the presentation of the annual report to parliament by the SOS for Defence under the obligations of the Armed Forces Act 2011. With it generally accepted within NI that there are in the region of 150,000 to 160,000 veterans residing in NI, the creation of an office dedicated to support this large cohort is welcomed greatly “
With the process now underway leading to Northern Irelands first Veterans Commissioner we encourage all individuals with a passion to lead and represent veterans to consider applying for this unique and necessary position in Northern Irish society.
Speaking on this latest development Lee McDowell (Ely Centre Director of Services) stated “The Ely Centre extend their appreciation to all those contributors who helped formulate our response to the consultation process culminating in the proposal for a Veterans Commissioner Office. As an organization we thank all those local politicians who we engaged with during the consultation process and were all strongly supportive of the proposals outlined. Finally we commend First Minister Arlene Foster who has been supportive of this proposal from the outset and has supported the development of this new office, its structure and remit throughout.
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