If you’re heading north of the border when your time comes to leave the army, it’s good to know that there’s work going on to help ensure that your final move goes smoothly.
Susie Hamilton is the Scottish Veterans Commissioner, and her role is to improve outcomes for veterans and their families in Scotland, championing the challenges they face and influencing policymakers to address any changes that are needed to improve devolved public services. We caught up with Susie to find out more about her job…
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN THE SCOTTISH VETERANS COMMISSIONER?
I took up the role in August last year. Having served in the Royal Navy and worked with veterans in the third sector, I’m well-tuned to the unique needs of veterans and their families and I’m passionate about ensuring these are met.
WHAT’S YOUR MAIN AIM?
I want to see all veterans and their families equipped to thrive, with a positive transition period and a successful integration into wider society. They should have timely access to appropriate support and services, no matter where in Scotland they live.
WHAT KEY AREAS DOES YOUR ROLE COVER?
My work spans a range of areas, including health and wellbeing, housing and employability, and a key focus is making sure support is in place during the transition to civilian life.
I know that veterans’ family members can sometimes be overlooked, and that the challenges they face are not always widely understood in the civilian world. I want to rectify this by ensuring that public services and employers are taking their needs into consideration, and by highlighting the valuable contributions that military families make.
WHAT STEPS HAVE YOU BEEN TAKING TO BRING ABOUT CHANGE?
I’ve been meeting a diverse range of individuals and organisations from the veterans’ community, capturing its collective voice. This work is ongoing, but so far has provided me with a solid insight into available support, what the community feels is and isn’t working, and gaps in provision. It’s also helped to expose areas where further attention is required. There is lots of support out there, but these services are not always well known.
To learn more about Susie’s work, visit scottishveteranscommissioner.org