Poll results: Scotland’s veterans community doesn’t feel valued

As part of my ongoing work to learn about the views and experiences of Scotland’s veterans community, I recently carried out a poll asking veterans and their families to answer the following question with one of the answers listed below:

In my role as Scottish Veterans Commissioner, part of my vision is that all members of the veterans community, including spouses, partners, children of veterans, and the bereaved, feel valued by society. As a member of this community living in Scotland, I want to hear whether you feel valued.

  • As a member of the veterans community I feel very valued
  • As a member of the veterans community I feel somewhat valued
  • I’m not sure
  • As a member of the veterans community I feel somewhat undervalued
  • As a member of the veterans community I feel very undervalued

The poll was live on my website for two weeks and had almost 500 responses. I would like to extend my thanks to all of those who took the time to respond. It’s so important that the views of the veterans community are heard, so that I can reflect them in my work, areas of focus, and suggested solutions.

Unfortunately, on this occasion, the response was overwhelmingly negative, with 30% of respondents saying they feel somewhat undervalued and 33% saying they feel very undervalued. 14% said that they are unsure, with only 15% saying they feel somewhat valued and 8% saying they feel very valued.

Bar chart showing results of SVC poll on whether or not members of Scotland's veterans community feel valuedWhile this response is discouraging, based on the conversations that I have been having with members of the veterans community across Scotland, it is not hugely surprising. There is a lot of positive work going on to improve the provision of support and services for veterans and their families. However, more needs to be done to ensure that support meets their specific needs and is delivered in a timely manner, wherever in Scotland they are based.

We also need to do more to help wider society understand the positive contribution that veterans and their families can make to the workplace and to communities, and the wide range of knowledge, skills and experience that they can bring. Peer-to-peer support is a significant feature of the veterans community, and it’s been really heartening to witness the care and dedication that many veterans show in supporting each other. It would be even better were veterans and their families to share this mutual support with members of their civilian communities too.  This can be achieved with better understanding of veterans as valuable, dependable and resilient members of society.

These are some of the issues which I hope to address in my upcoming report on the veterans community and relationships.

I also hope to revisit the question in the above poll at a later date to examine how things may have changed.

In the meantime, I will continue to listen to the voices of Scotland’s veterans community and I am always open to hearing the experiences – good and bad – of its members. If you would like to share any views or insights, you can get in touch here.

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Really encouraging to see high levels of attendance among employers and Service Leavers at the Career Transition Partnership Employment Fair today. It was also a great opportunity to hear an update on changes to the CTP delivery contract. 

It was a pleasure to meet Kat Barrett from Wincanton afterwards, to hear about innovations in employing veterans and ex-offenders.
Really encouraging to see high levels of attendance among employers and Service Leavers at the Career Transition Partnership Employment Fair today. It was also a great opportunity to hear an update on changes to the CTP delivery contract. It was a pleasure to meet Kat Barrett from Wincanton afterwards, to hear about innovations in employing veterans and ex-offenders.
1 day ago
From celebrating #InternationalWomensDay and #CommonwealthDay to recognising the achievements of #veterans in the business world, learn more about my latest activity in my March round-up (link in bio 🔗).
From celebrating #InternationalWomensDay and #CommonwealthDay to recognising the achievements of #veterans in the business world, learn more about my latest activity in my March round-up (link in bio 🔗).
1 week ago
Great to see this new breakfast club set up in Grantown in the Highlands by ex-soldier Mark Strachan has already attracted veterans from surrounding areas. Coming together to share experiences and support each other can have such a positive impact on wellbeing, especially for those in more rural communities.

The breakfast club is available on the third Friday of each month at the Pagoda in Grantown.
Great to see this new breakfast club set up in Grantown in the Highlands by ex-soldier Mark Strachan has already attracted veterans from surrounding areas. Coming together to share experiences and support each other can have such a positive impact on wellbeing, especially for those in more rural communities. The breakfast club is available on the third Friday of each month at the Pagoda in Grantown.
1 week ago
Popped along to St John's Hospital where staff in the Armed Forces Network were sharing a 'NAAFI break'. 

Great to meet veterans in a wide range of NHS Scotland roles from Administration to Engineering and to hear more about their varied paths from the military to our NHS.

#VeteransSupport #VeteransScotland #NAAFIbreak
Popped along to St John's Hospital where staff in the Armed Forces Network were sharing a 'NAAFI break'. Great to meet veterans in a wide range of NHS Scotland roles from Administration to Engineering and to hear more about their varied paths from the military to our NHS. #VeteransSupport #VeteransScotland #NAAFIbreak
2 weeks ago
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