Social Bowls group in Cockburn Club helps Vets

by Aaron Clark on November 21, 2022

At Cockburn Bowling and Recreation Club every Wednesday an important game of social bowls is played. Iain Thomas organises the Our Veterans & First Responder Social Bowls (OVRS) group.

Starting at 9:15 am on Wednesday they have an hour and a half of bowling and banter. To end they have coffee/cake alongside discussions, finishing up around 11 am.

Playing the game once a week the goal of the group is incredibly wholesome challenging some of the hardest issues that ultimately get overlooked:

“The aim of OVF is to support veterans and first responders experiencing diagnosed mental health issues, such as PTSD, and issues arising from service or transition from service, including loss of identity, meaning, and purpose” Said Iain Thomas in regards to to the non-for profit organisation Our Veteran’s Forge whereby he is the secretary.

Members of OVRS listening to Iain Thomas before playing Bowls

For Veterans & First responders alike Iain encourages those wanting to be a part of a social group of like-minded people to join in. It is mentioned that no prior bowls experience is needed as all are welcome.

 “Veterans and/or First responders are welcome to join us or help out, I started this group to help vets like me!” Comment by Iain Thomas.

The group has a consistent turnout every week (15-25 participants), with 175 Members on their Facebook Page, the community continues to grow. The group is supported by Open Arms, Australia’s leading provider of mental health assessment and counselling for Australian veterans and their families.

On Wednesday 16th November, Our Veterans & First Responder Social Bowls received additional support from outside of the organisation. A generous gift from Ian Paterson from Bowls WA sponsor Henserlite.

10 Sets of Bowls, varying in sizes, were donated to OVRS to use for their social bowls. It’s safe to say the feedback was overwhelmingly positive and appreciative of the gift, “Thank you Henserlite, this means so much to us”.

It’s these acts of kindness that help to bring people together and provide support for the community. Iain Thomas would like to mention Cockburn Bowling Club for allowing the group to play at the club and Open Arms for their continuous support.

For more information about OVRS find their Facebook page here

All credit for photos & information goes to Iain Thomas & the Cockburn Bowling and Recreation Club found here

Once again thank you Henserlite for your sponsorship and generous gift.