A high-powered commission on military veterans set up by Edinburgh’s Lord Provost has called for more centres like LVC.
The report – two years in the making – calls for “further development of drop-in centres based on the Lothians Veterans Centre model” as a priority.
CEO of Lothians Veterans Centre Ian Stewart said: “It is fantastic that the work of the centre has been recognised and validated by such an authoritative body as the Lord Provost’s Commission.
“We will do all we can to help make the recommendation a reality.”
City of Edinburgh Lord Provost Councillor Frank Ross set up the commission in April 2019 and its report has just been published. Its members included senior figures in the military world including the Garrison Commander, Edinburgh Castle, the Naval Regional Commander, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the Air Officer Scotland and the Scottish Veterans Commissioner.
The Commission held a series of workshops to take evidence on a range of key themes including housing; education, training & employment; and health & wellbeing. Evidence providers were drawn from a range of statutory providers, military services and charitable bodies including Lothians Veterans Centre.
The commission agreed that its remit should be: “Dedicated to supporting fully Ex Forces personnel and their families in making smooth transitions back into the civilian workforce and civic life of the City of Edinburgh and contributing fully to a community that understands and values what they have done and what they have to offer.”
Among it’s conclusions was: “In general, there was a lack of clarity about the support services available and the lack of drop in facilities was identified.”
Under its priorities to improve services for veterans it advocated: “further development of drop-in centres based on the Lothians Veterans Centre model whereby users see themselves as adding value to services as well as being the beneficiaries.”
And under “Next Steps” it stated : “The key agencies agree that more effective co-ordination, possibly through a network of hubs, would help enormously.
“Better signposting and awareness raising around the plethora of support agencies that are in existence is identified as a key priority. A specific proposal was for a “Gateway to Services for Personnel” where the support community exists physically and there is a door on which to knock. “