Support for Veterans and the Armed Forces community: report 2017
2. Overall Achievements
2. Overall Achievements
Since Renewing our Commitments was published in 2016, considerable progress has been made, including:
- The Scottish Veterans Fund has, since its creation in 2008, committed over £1 million to more than 140 projects and organisations supporting veterans across Scotland. In 2017-18 we re-developed the fund and, for the first time, partnered with Standard Life Aberdeen to provide a dedicated funding strand focused on employability; boosting the fund to £600,000 over three years.
- Since 1 April 2017, £5 million has been committed to ensure that veterans in receipt of social care in Scotland will now get the full value of their war pensions. This change, which delivers on a commitment set out in the Programme for Government, will benefit up to 1,300 veterans in Scotland.
- The Scottish Veterans Commissioner's tenure has been extended to August 2018. The Commissioner, Eric Fraser, continues to be operationally independent of the Scottish Government, enabling him to scrutinise both policy and service delivery effectively. His research and reports continue to inform policy development and, to date, we have responded positively to the recommendations for the Scottish Government.
- A Veterans Employability Strategic Group has been established to drive forward work on veterans' employability. The Group, chaired by Mark Bibbey, Chief Executive Officer of Poppyscotland, was set up in April 2017 in response to the Veterans Commissioner's recommendations; and has already made excellent progress in bringing together key partners to work collaboratively to best effect.
- In March 2017, the Scottish Government and partners launched a best practice toolkit Capitalising on Military Talent  to help employers understand more about the skills veterans have to offer. This followed the initiative 'Supporting Veterans into Employment'. Both projects, which aimed to encourage employers to recognise the positive contribution that veterans can make to workforces, were conducted in partnership with Business in the Community Scotland and Salute My Job.
- A veterans portal on mygov.scot  was launched in June 2017 to bring together a range of useful information on housing, health, jobs, education and veterans support services. This portal, which links to other key websites, includes a dedicated housing section which sets out housing options and information on how veterans can gain access to more tailored advice – responding to a key recommendation in the Veterans Commissioner's Housing Information report.
- We have continued to invest in mental health services – this year the Scottish Government will provide £825,000 to support the Veterans First Point services network.
- We have worked with the Ministry of Defence to produce a guide for Local Authorities in Scotland  to share best practice and deliver better services for veterans in their communities.