The Scottish Veterans Fund is currently in its twelfth year. Unsurprisingly, it has evolved considerably since its inception, growing from an annual fund of £80,000 in 2008 to £200,000 in each of the last three years, thanks to the Scottish Government’s partnership with Standard Life Aberdeen.
There has however, been one constant throughout that period - the quality of the projects which have benefited from it. I have been lucky to have the opportunity to visit many of these and see first-hand the difference that is being made to the lives of veterans in areas like wellbeing, housing and employment.
I am pleased to say that the Scottish Government, supported by the input of Standard Life Aberdeen and the administration of the fund by Veterans Scotland, has been able to help a range of organisations improve their offerings, or grow new capabilities to support our veterans community across Scotland.
As Veterans Minister, I commissioned this report not just to highlight the great work that is being done by the organisations which have received funding, but to hopefully stimulate discussions on what form future support needs to take, building on our recent consultation on The Strategy for Our Veterans.
The Scottish Government remains committed to supporting our veterans community in Scotland, and we recognise that working in partnership is key to this. I therefore want to end by thanking Standard Life Aberdeen, Veterans Scotland and all of the organisations and individuals whose efforts have delivered such important support for veterans and their families.
Mr Graeme Dey MSP
Minister for Parliamentary
Business and Veterans
As signatories of the Armed Forces Covenant and holders of the Gold Award from the Armed Forces Employer Recognition Scheme, we take our commitment to our Armed Forces very seriously at Standard Life Aberdeen. As part of that commitment we have been keen to increase awareness of the strengths and requirements of the Armed Forces community and to recognise the value that they bring to society.
Like most large organisations these days, we have our share of staff members who have served in the Regular Forces or who are still serving as members of the Reserve. We have been keen to share our experience with other organisations on how best to capitalise on what we see as a very capable and reliable source of talent.
We are also aware that there are some in the Armed Forces community who are in need of a little more assistance. We were delighted to be able to partner with the Scottish Government to support the growth of the Scottish Veterans Fund, with the money we provide being used on projects that help the military community with employability focused schemes.
As fund contributors, we were also more than happy to offer resource to assist with the collation of this report. I hope you enjoy this report as it highlights the impact being delivered to our military community across Scotland by some amazing organisations.
Standard Life Aberdeen plc