April was a fantastic month for celebrating the achievements of veterans in business and in the community with two awards nights recognising the hard work and success of veterans across the country.
Ex-Forces in Business Awards
The Scottish Ex-Forces in Business Awards brought together 500 business leaders and veterans to highlight the value that veterans can bring to the civilian workplace. As well as celebrating inspirational individuals, the Awards acknowledge employers that demonstrate commitment to recruiting from the military talent pool and ensuring ex-Forces employees are supported.
I was honoured to be a speaker at the ceremony and to share the room with so many talented people. Highlighting the strong synergies between military values and business excellence, the awards are a great way to increase visibility of veterans in the wider workplace and promote ex-Forces employment initiatives.
Scottish Veterans Awards
The Scottish Veterans Awards recognise the achievements of Scotland’s veterans and reservists in business, fitness, sport and the wider community, as well organisations and businesses that support the veterans community.
The awards were a wonderful occasion celebrating everything that veterans can bring to business and to our communities. Some of the veterans honoured had overcome real challenges and their strength and determination were truly humbling. I loved getting to catch up with so many members of Scotland’s veterans community, and hear more about their achievements firsthand.
CTP Employment Fair
I had a great day at the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) Employment Fair in Edinburgh, where representatives from over 80 leading British businesses met with more than 275 Service leavers and veterans to network and plan for their futures. There was a fantastic atmosphere, with attendees given the opportunity to explore potential opportunities and career pathways. Our Service leavers deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential in the civilian world and events like the CTP Employment Fair are a great way to help facilitate this.
Sight Scotland Veterans
I was kindly invited to visit Sight Scotland Veterans’ Hawkhead Centre in Paisley, where I had the opportunity to meet with some of the charity’s members. We discussed some of the issues they face and what type of support they require.
Sight Scotland Veterans does an outstanding job supporting veterans with vision impairment and makes a huge difference to their lives. The work the charity does is vital in terms of fighting isolation and loneliness, boosting confidence and improving mental health. Hearing the chatter and laughter during many of the centre’s activity sessions was just so uplifting and inspiring.
As well as the support on offer at the Hawkhead Centre, the charities Independent Living Team supports veterans through home visits, community activity groups and via its helpline. My thanks go to all at Sight Scotland Veterans for the wonderful work they do, and to the veterans I met with on the day who kindly shared their views and experiences with me.