Understanding and Addressing the Needs of Military Veterans in the UK

Living Magazines Support for Military Veterans in the UK

Across England and Wales, around 1.85 million people had reported they had previously served in the UK armed forces as of March 2021. However, the needs of our veterans are not widely known and have become a governmental issue in recent years. While the government released an action plan for veterans in 2018, there is still so much to be done.

Leading solicitor firm, Bolt Burdon Kemp, said: ‘Barely a third (35%) of military charities say the government works closely enough with them, and only 45% of military charities can say the same about the MOD. In contrast, half of military charities are able to say that local councils work closely enough with them.’

What do Veterans Need?

As a result of their hard work and service, veterans are left vulnerable to complex physical and mental health needs. The structure, friendships and support of life in the armed forces can be greatly missed following the transition to life outside the military.

So, what do our veterans need to help them get back on their feet when returning to normal routine?

Healthcare Services

It’s important that the appropriate resources are available to specifically cater to the unique health challenges faced by veterans. Mental health problems are a common issue among service leavers, with many suffering from anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Many veterans may have also sustained serious injuries during service. The NHS runs veteran-friendly GP surgeries, which include having medical staff with military healthcare backgrounds, having staff trained to treat health problems that typically affect veterans and having MOD-specific knowledge.

Employment opportunities

Making those next steps following a career in the military can be daunting. Receiving the right training and support can help you make a smooth transition to your next role, helping you become a part of a dedicated and collaborative team.

Many veterans are encouraged to join the Civil Service once they leave the armed forces. This means they can continue serving the public even after their military service ends. It offers a sense of purpose and the skills learned from the military are perfectly transferable to life in the Civil Service.

Legal Support

Military life often comes with unavoidable accidents and injuries, so it’s important veterans have access to the right legal assistance when returning home.

Whether you need to make a military claim or seek support in areas such as employment, housing, and disability benefits, there are legal experts on hand to help with your case.

Education and Training

The Royal British Legion provides educational opportunities and training programs to help veterans improve their skills and increase their chances of securing employment on return to normal life.

Finding a job can be tough, but there are various services to help improve your chances and make your CV stand out. You may be able to claim for Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) which helps to fund further and higher education to expand employment opportunities.