News story

Scotland leads support for UK Armed Forces

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Scotland has become the first UK country to unite behind the Armed Forces Covenant.

For the very first time, all 32 local authorities in Scotland have signed a Community Covenant and pledged to provide local support to Service personnel and their families across the country.

Every local authority in Scotland has also appointed an Armed Forces Champion or Armed Forces liaison officer who will address specific issues affecting the Armed Forces community locally; from health and education, to housing and employment.

Across Scotland, local authorities have led the way in providing exciting new initiatives to ensure Service personnel and their families are continually supported in their communities.

Examples of these outstanding achievements include:

  • ‘Glasgow’s Helping Heroes’ – an initiative run by Glasgow city council which has improved access to advice and support for Service personnel, veterans, their families and carers in Glasgow

  • Getting it Right for Forces Families – a project led by Highland Council to address post traumatic stress, alcohol misuse, suicide, homelessness and disability

  • DG Contact First – a priority system developed by Dumfries and Galloway council to help veterans resettle in social housing.

Over the next year all 32 local authorities will continue to establish new partnerships with organisations like the police, NHS and Jobcentres, to encourage local communities to support the Service community in their area and raise awareness of issues affecting the Armed Forces community.

Brigadier Paul K Harkness, Commander 51 (Scottish) Brigade said:

On behalf of all three Services, their dependents, the veterans and cadet forces, we are extremely grateful to the UK and Scottish Governments and local authorities for the enthusiasm and commitment that they have shown towards the military community based in Scotland.

Their support in establishing the principles and delivery of the firm base throughout Scotland has been both critical and invaluable.

We have been overwhelmed by the support that the devolved administrations and the Scottish Government has given us and the willingness of local authorities to embrace the military community, be they past, present or future members.

Progress has also been made in England and Wales, with around 250 of all local authorities across the United Kingdom now signed up to the Community Covenant. This represents over half of all local communities.

For more information about how to sign a Community Covenant locally visit the Armed Forces Covenant web page.