First ever UK-wide Veterans Strategy launched
Produced jointly between the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments, and including the Northern Ireland Office, the ‘Strategy for our Veterans’ outlines a new vision and principles to support those who served, as well as their families, in every aspect of their lives once they have hung up their uniform. This strategy sets the intent for veterans public services across the UK to work towards and was launched on 14th November. You can contribute to the consultation which closes on 21 February ’19.
The ground-breaking strategy has been commissioned by the Defence Secretary and has been confirmed that a new Veterans Unit with input from across Whitehall will be created. The Veterans Unit will champion the changing needs of the ex-service community and ensure action is taken to meet these.
Having looked back 100 years to the Armistice, this vision and its supporting principles are intended to ensure current and future veterans, and their families, can look forward to the next 100 years confident in the nation’s support.
The strategy identifies six key areas where support is most needed over the next ten years: community and relationships, employment and skills, health and wellbeing, finance and debt, housing, and contact with the law. It assesses the barriers and opportunities in these areas to providing support to each veteran, including improved collaboration between organisations, better co-ordination of services and more robust data on the veteran community.
It will be published alongside a consultation paper that seeks views on how best to champion and deliver the needs of the ex-service community. This UK Government Consultation informs how the strategy could be implemented across the UK, except for devolved matters in Scotland and Wales. Open to everyone, including charities, employers, academics, service providers, local authorities and the veteran community, the UK consultation will ultimately inform action planning by providers of public services to support the ex-service community. The Scottish and Welsh Governments will engage separately on devolved issues such as housing and healthcare.
As part of the package of support for veterans, the Veterans’ Gateway’s 24/7 helpline will trial a new outreach service where it will proactively call those who have served, to check in on their wellbeing and remind them of where support can be found.
As a first step in better understanding the profiles and needs of veterans, a new question is being considered for addition to the 2021 Census in England and Wales, and in Scotland, that will allow ex-service personnel to declare their service. The move will help authorities develop a better understanding of where veterans live and work so the right level of support can be provided.
Read the rest of the Veterans Strategy news on GOV.UK
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