RCET welcomes the creation of the Office of Veteran Affairs

We are delighted by the announcement that today Prime Minister Boris Johnson has created the first ever Office of Veterans Affairs. This office will champion the needs of ex-servicemen and women enabling life-long support to those who have served our country.

The office will sit in the Cabinet Office and will be jointly run by the new Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer and Paymaster General Oliver Dowden.

Mr Mercer has said that it is “the first time in its history” the Government’s efforts to help veterans will be joined up. One of the first promises of the Office is to enshrine the Covenant into law.

We are pleased that the government is taking support for our veterans seriously. 98% of the families that we support through our Children & Family Support Service are veteran families. We know, as a result that there are many veterans that are dealing with a range of really challenging issues such as mental and physical health difficulties, debt, unemployment and poverty and social isolation, substance misuse and family breakdown. Most families are dealing with on average 5 factors which could be described as an Adverse Childhood Experience for their child, with some dealing with as many as 12 simultaneously.

That’s why we work to provide financial assistance, advice and emotional support to veteran families mitigating the impact of the challenges that they face on their children. From providing school uniforms, after-school activities to beds and bedroom furniture we ensure that wherever possible the children of veterans get the same access to opportunities, and to simply be a child, as their civilian peers. You can see more about the increasing demand for our services in the infographic below.

We know that with the right support, circumstances for veteran families can improve. This renewal of hope for veteran families can have a really positive impact not only on the veteran themselves but on their entire family.

Chief Executive, Colin Flinn says “We look forward to working with the newly established Office of Veteran Affairs. The Royal Caledonian Education Trust, as Scotland’s Armed Forces Children’s Charity works with hundreds of veteran families in Scotland each year ensuring that they have the right supports in place to get through the challenging circumstances that they find themselves in. We are eager to work both with the Office, and with the new Veterans Minister Jonny Mercer to ensure that all Scottish veterans, and their children know that we are there to support them.”

If you, or someone you know, is struggling and needs our support please contact our Children & Family Support Co-ordinator Karen on 0131 322 7350 or on familysupport@rcet.org.uk