Nowra veterans' drop-in centre

Come to Nowra's Legacy House on Friday morning and the team from the South Coast Veterans drop-in centre will give a warm welcome.

Come to Nowra's Legacy House on Friday morning and the team from the South Coast Veterans drop-in centre will give a warm welcome.

Just knowing someone is in your corner means a lot to veterans suffering from post traumatic stress (PTS) disorder or for those just wanting a bit of company.

Thankfully a local drop in centre is helping many veterans in need but wants to help more ex-service people.

The drop in centre, at Nowra’s Legacy House, is  a nice friendly relaxing non-judgemental place, which is something its founder Allan Nolan wants to maintain.

“We supply a cup of coffee and a cake and people come in and we have a lot of information in there about services pertaining to DVA (Department of Veterans Affairs ) matters,” he said

Mr Nolan said PTS was a big issue for many veterans.

“Well everyone has PTS that went to Vietnam or was involved in Vietnam,” he said

“I have got it but not as bad as others.

“With PTS you start to get down and the depression gets you and that is the worst bit.”

Even as coordinator of the group Mr Nolan said he gets positive energy from the drop in centre.

“You come in here have a laugh, a  joke, carrying on and give each other a bit of a stir,” he said.

He said in the end they like to show struggling veterans than someone cares about them and want to offer them help.

“Some people come in for 10-15 minutes have a coffee and cake the they go away happy,” he said.

The group would love to see and help younger veterans and the centre is a family friendly.

They can also help people with pension related issues.

The centre started operation in 2005 and had helped many people during this time.

“With PTS you start to get down and the depression gets you and that is the worst bit.” - Allan Nolan

The founder got the idea for the centre after he went to a veterans’ conference in Sydney and heard people talking about drop in centres they had going.

He decided to set up one in the Nowra area.

The first stumbling block as to find a room to use and luckily Legacy House opened its doors.

He took the issue to a Legacy, got approval to run some trials and then given a full year’s residency.

“It just went from then on and now we are permanently based at Legacy House,” he said

They needed to find the right spot.

“We did not want to have anything involved in gambling or  alcohol and we wanted to be a non-political organisation,” he said.

They do ask for a gold coin donation but this is not a strict rule .

The group does give back to the community by giving a donation to Legacy each month.

The centre is open from 9am to 12 every Friday bar Good Friday and they are closed over the Christmas period.

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