Veterans Outreach Support (Portsmouth)

[align=center]Veterans Outreach Support (Portsmouth) [VOS(P)]

1400 - 1900 1st Wednesday of the Month

Dr Morgan O’Connell [recently Chief Consultant Psychiatrist to Combat Stress] and John “Joe†Erskine [SSAFA – Forces Help (Portsmouth)], together with David Watts, [General Manager of The Royal Maritime Club], have put together a “Veterans Outreach Support†programme for ALL Ex-Service Veterans and/or Family Members of Veterans.

The venue is The Royal Maritime Club (formerly The Royal Sailors Home Club), Queen Street, Portsmouth - between 2pm and 7pm on the first Wednesday of every month. VOS(P) have Country Membership of the Club. Accommodation is available in the Club for anyone attending the programme, why not stay a few days and make a break of it. You must quote “Outreach at agreed Members Rates†when booking or you may be refused accommodation as a non member.

It is a "Drop in Centre" where ANY Veteran - or family member of a Veteran - can come for an individual private chat with the Psychiatrist (Morgan O'Connell), and/or his Therapist. The term Veteran means all Ex- Armed Forces (plus - Merchant Navy [MN], Royal Fleet Auxiliary [RFA], Navy Army and Air Force Institute [NAAFI] Staff and Locally Entered Personnel [LEPs] - who served in War / Conflict Zones)

The Drop In Centre is supported by the following Ex-Service Agencies most of whom are in attendance every month:-

• The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmens Families Association - Forces Help
[SSAFA - Forces Help]

• The Royal British Legion [RBL]
(Welfare Officer & Tribunal Representative)

• Combat Stress [The Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society]

• The Services Personnel and Veterans Agency [SPVA]
(Welfare - War Pension/AF Compensation etc.)

• Shaw Trust

• The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust [RNBT]

• The Royal Air Forces Benevolent Fund [RAFBF] (non attending)

• The Army Benevolent Fund [ABF] (non attending)

• The National Gulf Veterans and Families Benevolent Association [NGVFA]
(non attending)

Any Veteran, or Family Member of a Veteran, can drop in, just for a confidential chat with the Doctor or the Therapist, AND/OR for advice from the Agencies AND/OR to take the opportunity to meet up with other Vets and have a chinwag, maybe a meal in the restaurant and/or a few drinks in the bar. Use the time to arrange to meet other Vets there to have a social afternoon / evening in an informal friendly atmosphere amongst friends, if you wish. It is not intended to hold any sort of group sessions; unless a particular group of individual Veterans request one and that session will be private and confidential to that group.

If any Veteran, or Family Member of a Veteran, wishes to attend privately just to have a chat with the Doctor or the Therapist, they may do so by just coming along OR by ringing Dr Morgan O'Connell on 01329 834512 to make a specific appointment. If you get the answering machine then PLEASE leave your name and number and Morgan will get back to you within 48 hours. This is his office telephone at his private practice and it is only manned three days a week.

PLEASE NOTE that this programme will be subject to change as the programme evolves.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Re: Veterans Outreach Support & Advice (Portsmouth)

Good post, Joe. Thankfully I won't have to use the service for a couple of years, but it's nice to know there are people out there who are willing to help - especially as many ex-Forces' personnel sometimes aren't willing to admit they need help in the first place... :oops:

Message to Mods:

Perhaps this could be made into a 'sticky'?
Re: Veterans Outreach Support & Advice (Portsmouth)

Thanks for your comments Chris and Buster.

Just to point out that anyone may come along on these evenings even if you do not require a consultation. It may be used as a social gathering or just to get some information on the services provided by the Agencies attending.

I was speaking to some representatives of the RBL Riders at the RN Information Fair in HMS Nelson on Tuesday, but I didnt mention this as it was only ready for announcing after I came home from it.

I would ask you all reading this to please post it on as many relevant websites as you can - we need to get the message out to as many veterans Nationally as possible. This could be the start of a National network of such programmes if other like minded people in other areas wish to copy the idea and start their own programme in their area.
Re: Veterans Outreach Support & Advice (Portsmouth)

sgtpepperband said:
Message to Mods:

Perhaps this could be made into a 'sticky'?
Makes sense, but not in CA, I suspect Afterlife might be best so will move it and Ninja can then do the deed.
Just like to bump this up and post an update.

I have updated my original post, please have another read of it.

We have been going for 14 months now and going from strength to strength as the word gets around. We were visited by a veteran who drove 3.5 hours from Norwich with his brother for company - stayed for 1.5 hours , had a chat to Morgan and the SPVA Welfare Managre about applying for a War Pension - had a good chat with some other vets and then drove all the way home. His brother said before he left that he had been a wreck but even after the short visit, speaking to Morgan but more important speaking to ex serviec people that spoke the same language as him, he saw the cloud and gone from his eyes. He doesnt get that living out in the sticks with no contact with ex service people. That was 6 months ago and we have heard from him isnce and he is fine now.

We had 15 attendes in June 2009 (8 new and 7 returnees), 15 in July 2009 (7 new and 8 returnees) and 18 in August (10 new and 8 returnees).

We are now in talks with TRBL, SSAFA and Combat Stress with a view to them taking our model and considering it to roll out across the country as a joint effort. No one has made any promises yet, but no one has said no and all are positive about it.
Still going from strenght to strenght. Talking with RBL, SSAFA and Combat Stress with a view to them jointly adopting our model to roll out across the Country. Combat Stress are intending to introduce Outreach Centres anyway.



We now have an RBL Tribunal Representative attending Outreach when Tribunals permit (see seperate posting)
The Next Outreach Drop in is on Wednesday 2nd December when we are having a visit from the RAFBF Regional Director who is visiting us with a view to granting us some funding.

Combat Stress are also looking at us as they wish to move to Outreach treatment to free up the residential places for their assesments which are falling further and further behind due to the increase in their workload.
Just a quick update as a lot of things have been going on since I last posted in this thread.

We are now a registered Company and a registered Charity and operate as Veterans Outreach Support in our own right as coming under SSAFA/RBL/Combat Stress combined banner did not work out.

As a result we made a successful bid for LIBOR funding which we received and David Cameron announced it personally on Armed Forces Day in June from Afghanistan. We also had £5K from Seafarers UK and £5K from the RN & RM Charity in advance of this announcement to get us started on converting the old galley at the Royal Maritime Club into an Office and Consultation Room as our new Head Office. The LIBOR Funding of £414K will allow us to pay the clinicians for therapy sessions outside of the VOS Drop In day which all concerned attend Pro Bono. This will free up the Drop In for New Users as we were getting swamped every month with over 40 Service Users attending for either therapy or to see the Agencies. The Office Managers wages are also included in this funding. We now have to stride to attract funding to sustain VOS after this initial 2 year period of funding. Next year we will be in a position to roll VOS out Nationally.

We have a holding website at Veterans Outreach Support UK - keep your eye on it as it will be replaced by a new fully swept up website in the next few weeks. All Agencies involved will have their own page stating what they offer on a drop in day.

The next VOS Drop in at Portsmouth is on Wednesday 4th December 2013 from 1400 to 1900.
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