A unique and visionary project supporting retired police officers and military veterans who have been physically injured or psychologically impacted by their service was launched on Tuesday, April 30.

With its headquarters in Co. Fermanagh, Brooke House Health and Wellbeing Centre is a charitable project funded by the Chancellor through LIBOR funds.

Simon Weston CBE, a former soldiers who suffered severe burns during the Falklands War, Viscount Brookeborough and Steven Inman from the Armed Forces Covenant who helped provide funding all spoke at the official opening along with Joan Clements, Director of the Brooke House Health and Wellbeing Centre.

“I am delighted to be involved 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 had military veteran Simon Weston CBE as our guest speaker here today," said Joan Clements.

"This visionary new Service has been established to support retired Police Officers and Armed Forces veterans and their families, who have been physically injured, psychologically impacted or bereaved as a result of their service.

"Recent statistics suggest there are approximately 150,000 veterans residing in Northern Ireland, many of whom experience un -addressed mental and physical health needs.

"We know 312 members of the RUC lost their lives, we know over 10,000 Officers were physically injured, what we don’t know for certain is the number of Officers and their family members who are suffering from issues of mental health.

"These are the invisible wounds that are sometimes not even shared amongst family members to one another whilst at the same time family members are often living with behaviour that is difficult to cope with but not spoken of.

"Here in Brooke House we are so aware that there is Reticence and reluctance to come forward to access support and we pay special attention to this in all our dealing with each individual within the family unit."

Joan continued by saying the corner stone for care at Brooke House was the need for a comprehensive assessment of each individual and family member with services then provided to meet that assessed need.

"However, care does not stop when the services are provided and some of the uniqueness of our comprehensive care packages is the post treatment aftercare with follow up contact and on-going review with other services introduced if other needs emerge."

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-November 4, 2001.

The project will also support military veterans from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force post-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.