Friday 24th January 2020

Commenting on today’s (22 Jan) publication of the Veterans’ Strategy Consultation Response by the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, Tom McBarnet, Director of Programmes at the Forces in Mind Trust, says:

“We welcome this analysis and the publication of an action plan. While the majority of those leaving the Armed Forces do so successfully, it is important that we prioritise help for those who need it most. The Office for Veterans’ Affairs is right to focus on employment, housing and health, and we support the drive towards greater collaboration and co-ordination between government, charities, academia and the private sector.

“We look forward to co-operating with and supporting Government to ensure that misperceptions of veterans among employers in particular and the public more widely do not cause unfair disadvantage. Veterans and their families are a fantastic asset and society can benefit hugely from the skills they bring.

“For those Service leavers that do need more support, though, we must make sure it is sufficiently resourced, and accessible at the time of need. The collection of accurate data on veterans is a vital part of this – without it, we have an incomplete picture of what our veteran population looks like and needs. But while the evidence base is essential, we welcome the recognition that a collaborative approach across Government and with other partners is also important. This way, vulnerable Service leavers can be identified early and signposted to the most appropriate support available.

“The Strategy for our Veterans has the potential to transform how ex-Service personnel and their families are supported by the Nation. Government alone cannot deliver this, but the Veterans’ Strategy Consultation Response is to be welcomed because it sets the conditions for success. We look forward to holding Government to account for delivery of the Initial UK Government Action Plan.”

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