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Veterans Outreach Support


Veterans Outreach Support (Portsmouth)

In July 2008, 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], put together a “Veterans Outreach Support” programme for ALL Ex-Service Veterans and/or Family Members of Veterans. (David Watts retired in Feb 2009 but the current General Manager John Alderson is keen to carry on supporting the project).


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 & Civilian Agencies (if available on the day):-

  • 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]
  • 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.