Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2017 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 dedicated webpage to ensure that our local veterans can access support and services to assist them to adapt to civilian life after retirement.
The Armed Forces Covenant is the Nation’s commitment to Veterans. It is a pledge that ensures that veterans and their families have access to a wide variety of support and are treated fairly. The NI Veterans’ Support Committee has produced a Veterans' Handbook which is designed to be a sign-post to local agencies.
Alderman James Tinsley, the council's Veterans' Champion
Alderman Tinsley is available to provide support for veterans living in the Lisburn Castlereagh area. He is in regular contact with the NI Veterans' Commissioner's Office.
Northern Ireland Veterans’ Support Office
Northern Ireland Veterans’ Support Office (NIVSO) based in Belfast, provides vital support for Veterans across Northern Ireland. This support includes;
- Financial Support
- Health and Wellbeing
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.
Veterans' Commissioner for Northern Ireland
NI Veterans Commissioner's Office
Support in the Lisburn Castlereagh area
Royal British Legion
The Royal British Legion is the UK’s leading charity providing financial, social and emotional support to millions who have served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces, and their dependents.
There are a number of British Legion branches either within or close to the Lisburn Castlereagh area:
- Lisburn - Branch & Club
- Tullycarnet & District - Branch
- Ballynahinch - Branch
- Cregagh / Wandsworth & Ormeau - Branch & Club
- Newtownards - Branch & Club
- Comber - Branch
- Dromore - Branch
Armed Forces social support groups in Northern Ireland
Issues with depression, PTSD, bereavement, domestic violence, drug or alcohol misuse and family troubles are difficulties that many in the Armed Forces community face. By finding support groups that offer experienced advice and comradeship for people coping with problems, veterans and their families can receive the help they need. Support is available in Northern Ireland from:
This charity's support covers both regulars and reserves in the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the British Army and the Royal Air Force and their families, including anyone who has completed National Service. They are all entitled to lifelong support from SSAFA, no matter how long they have served. It is a national charity operated on a regional basis. All branch members are highly trained volunteers, giving their time freely.
Help for Heroes
Help for Heroes was founded by Bryn and Emma Parry OBE to provide lifetime support to those wounded in the service of their country. No matter when someone served, they believe that those prepared to put their lives second, deserve a second chance at life. Serving in the Armed Forces takes strength, but it takes a different kind of strength to live with life-changing injuries. Every course and activity that Help for Heroes offers aims to empower veterans to look beyond illness and injury, regain their purpose and reach their potential. Together we can help them, and their families, find the strength they need to live the lives they deserve.
Combat Stress is the UK's leading charity for veterans' mental health. Its network of community teams across the UK can help you find support through social contact and drop-ins. These groups, many run by veterans, offer comradeship and companionship for those who need it. To find groups in your area, contact Combat Stress at:
This programme run in conjunction with the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust tackles serious stress in veterans, families and carers. It has been designed on and prioritises a 'whole family approach.'
To find out more call: 03308 089 294 or download the information booklet.
Benefits and pensions
Make the call
You can check if you’re getting all the money, supports and services you’re entitled to by contacting the Make the Call team.
Tel: 0800 232 1271
The Ministry of Defence’s Veterans UK provides free support for veterans and their families, including a helpline, Veterans Welfare Service and injury/bereavement compensation scheme payments.
Through its helpline it provides assistance on many issues including benefits, housing and welfare. Normal Service 8.00 am to 4.00 pm Monday to Friday. Please email outside these hours using the address below.
For Pension Advice please call freephone 0808 1914 218 (UK only) - you must be able to provide your National Insurance Number. If calling from overseas the number is +44 1253 866 043.
When the helpline is closed, callers in need of immediate emotional support will be given the option to be routed to The Samaritans 24 hour helpline on 116 123.