News

Minister visits veterans charity in Aberdeen

Published: 14 Aug 2019 14:29

The Gurkha Centre praised for work with community.

More than 130 Gurkha veterans and families in Aberdeen are being supported by a charity backed by the Scottish Government.

Veterans Minister Graeme Dey will today meet the staff of The Gurkha Centre, a service run by the charity Community and Nature International (CAN).

The centre is supported by the Scottish Veterans Fund, which was established by the Scottish Government in 2008 and has given £1.4 million to more than 150 projects supporting veterans across Scotland.

Mr Dey’s visit is part of a series of meetings with veterans’ charities and groups in Aberdeen and Orkney this week.

The centre supports Gurkha veterans and their families in the north-east of Scotland, and its services include drop-in surgeries and outreach events, community awareness workshops, and peer-to-peer support meetings.

The project offers practical support to the Gurkha community in accessing mainstream public services including the NHS and housing, as well as supporting the transition for those who have emigrated to Scotland from Nepal.

The aim of the project is to improve the social inclusion, health and wellbeing of veterans and their families.

Mr Dey said:

“I am delighted to be here to see for myself the fantastic support that the charity provides to Gurkha veterans and their families.

“Scotland has a long military tradition and it holds our Armed Forces and their families in high esteem, and I admire CAN International’s enthusiasm, drive and determination to assist those who served and their families.

“I’m very proud of the way the grants from the Scottish Veterans Fund have supported the veterans community in Scotland.”

CAN International received a grant from the Scottish Veterans Fund in 2018 to support its work, funding which has helped support a Gurkha Veterans Support Officer.

Dr Balram Dhakal, director of CAN International, said:

“We are delighted to welcome the Minister to our centre.

“The Gurkha Centre has been very successful in supporting Gurkha veterans and their families who emigrated to the UK from Nepal.

“We were very pleased to share our work with the Minister and are grateful for his encouragement to continue our work to support Gurkha veterans and their families and other ethnic minority communities.”