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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Extra Support for Veterans as New Commissioner Announced

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25 projects benefit from increased funding.

A total of 25 projects will share £500,000 from the Scottish Veterans Fund, more than double the amount awarded last year.

This comes as Susanna Hamilton is appointed as the new Veterans Commissioner, the first woman to hold such a post in the UK.

Support for veterans has more than doubled this year from £200,000 as the Scottish Government continues to build on its commitment to support the veterans and Armed Forces community.

This year 14 new projects have received funding allowing a range of organisations to be supported including employment support from Walking with the Wounded and outdoor counselling from the Venture Trust.

Support for small local projects includes football matches for veterans at Elgin City FC and funding for FirstLight trust to establish a new café hub for veterans and their families in Falkirk.

Veterans Secretary Keith Brown announced the funding on a visit to Networks of Wellbeing in Huntly.

He said:

“Scotland has a long and proud military tradition.

“There are some fantastic organisations supporting our veterans in Scotland and this funding will help them continue their good work.

“With the extra money we are able to support a wider range of projects including some brilliant local initiatives.

“We are committed to investing in our veterans and helping them overcome disadvantage experienced as a result of service, as well as aiding projects that help veterans and their families successfully transition to civilian life.

“I’m also pleased to announce Ms Hamilton as the new Veterans Commissioner, as a veteran of the Royal Navy and with extensive experience working in the third sector helping homeless former military personnel, she is already a great champion for our veterans.

“Scotland has had a Veterans Commissioner since 2014, with a primary role to improve outcomes for veterans in Scotland, by engaging and listening to the experience of former members of the Armed forces.

“The first-hand experience Ms Hamilton will bring to the role is going to ensure our veterans continue to get the best support and representation possible.”

Ms Hamilton said:

“I’m delighted to be appointed as the new Scottish Veterans Commissioner.

“I look forward to building on the work of the previous Commissioners to continue improving support, opportunities and outcomes for Scotland’s veterans community.

“Through serving in the Royal Navy and working with veterans in the third sector, I know how much veterans and their families have to offer and I will be focused on highlighting the remarkable contribution they make to society.”

Networks of Wellbeing has received £5,860 to provide away days for veterans, Service Manager Fiona Alderson said:

“We care deeply about providing support to the Veterans Community.

“This project provides an opportunity for Veterans to connect with others with a shared, or similar, life experience and to do so in a safe and welcoming environment.

“Feedback is very encouraging and shows that we are targeting supports in the right way for those who access our services.”

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