Edinburgh's Lord Provost's Commission praises Dalkeith-based Lothian Veteran's Centre
The report – two years in the making - calls for “further development of drop-in centres based on the Lothians Veterans Centre model” as a priority.
Responding to the report, Lothians Veterans Centre CEO Ian Stewart said: “It is fantastic that the work of the centre has been recognised and validated by such an authoritative body as the Lord Provost’s Commission.
"We will do all we can to help make the recommendation a reality.”
City of Edinburgh Lord Provost Councillor Frank Ross set up the commission in April 2019. Its members included senior figures in the military world including the Garrison Commander, Edinburgh Castle, the Naval Regional Commander, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the Air Officer Scotland and the Scottish Veterans Commissioner.
The Commission held a series of workshops to take evidence on a range of key themes including housing; education, training and employment; and health and wellbeing. Evidence providers were drawn from a range of statutory providers, military services and charitable bodies including Lothians Veterans Centre.
The commission agreed that its remit should be: “Dedicated to supporting fully Ex-Forces personnel and their families in making smooth transitions back into the civilian workforce and civic life and contributing fully to a community that understands and values what they have done and what they have to offer.”
The report concluded: “In general, there was a lack of clarity about the support services available and the lack of drop in facilities was identified.”
Under its priorities to improve services for veterans it advocated: “Further development of drop-in centres based on the LVC model whereby users see themselves as adding value to services as well as being the beneficiaries.”
And under ‘Next Steps’ it stated: “The key agencies agree that more effective co-ordination, possibly through a network of hubs, would help enormously.”
Better signposting of support agencies was also identified as a key priority.