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The Strategy For Our Veterans: Taking The Strategy Forward In Scotland – Our Refreshed Action Plan

The Scottish Government’s refreshed Action Plan detailing how it intends intend to continue to take forward the Strategy for Our Veterans in Scotland.

The Strategy for Our Veterans

Background and Refresh

The cross-UK Strategy for our Veterans, launched in 2018, acknowledged the importance of supporting and empowering those who have served in our Armed Forces. Veterans and their families offer society a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience and it is important that this is recognised, they are supported where necessary, and that they do not suffer any disadvantage as a result of their Service.

By committing to this Strategy, the Scottish Government pledged to achieve a shared vision, principles, and the best possible outcomes for our veterans and their families in the future. In January 2020 the Scottish Government published its original action plan for taking the Strategy forward in Scotland. This was informed by an extensive consultation with stakeholders across the community and tailored to the needs of our veterans and their families and the distinctive mechanisms for delivery in Scotland. It made a number of commitments across all of the Strategy's cross-cutting factors and key themes. A summary of the key themes, cross-cutting factors and 10-year outcomes are shown below.

During our original consultation, we emphasised the message that, first and foremost, veterans are assets to our society, and the small proportion who find the transition to civilian life more challenging are owed the right support to ensure that they too are able to realise their potential and live full and successful lives after Service.

Our original action plan built on the excellent work being done by organisations across the public, private and charitable sectors to support and empower veterans and their families. It recognised that the needs of our veterans and their families were changing, both in terms of the reducing numbers and also with regard to the types of support that help them to integrate successfully into civilian society. The issues faced by veterans and their families can be multiple and complex, emphasising the importance of effective collaboration and co-ordination across organisations and stakeholders that support them. Our 2020 action plan set out how we intended to respond to these changes, across all of the services that impact on the lives of veterans and families of the Armed Forces community in Scotland.

Scotland's original plan was deliberately designed to be long-term in nature. It made a series of commitments to deliver the vision and principles of the Strategy out to 2028, ten years after it was first published. However, recognising the impact that the Covid pandemic, in particular, has had on all aspects of daily life, we believed that there was an opportunity to review our commitments to determine: those we believe have been delivered; the extent to which the original set remained valid; where there may be an opportunity to add more detail, and; if there were any new commitments we could add. A consultation on the scale carried out in support of our original action plan was not conducted. Rather, we undertook a light-touch examination whereby we reviewed each of our commitments with policy areas across the Scottish Government, developed a refreshed set and offered key stakeholders the opportunity to review these draft proposals and contribute their views.

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