Media Statement – Armed Forces and Veterans Champions Gathering

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Monday 2nd October sees Armed Forces and Veterans Champions from across Scotland meeting in Glasgow City Chambers to consider matters affecting members of the Armed Forces and Veterans Community. Champions from Local Authorities, NHS Scotland, Police Scotland, the Department of Work and Pensions, the Scottish Prison Service and Skills Development Scotland are attending, as well as representatives from many of the ex-Service and other charities. It is expected that in the region of 150 people will attend this third Annual Gathering.

The Scottish Government’s Veterans Secretary, Mr Keith Brown MSP, will present the keynote speech and will be followed by Maj Gen Bob Bruce, General Officer Scotland, who will provide an overview of the Armed Forces laydown in Scotland. Other speakers will include Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust who will highlight the latest research on how the Armed Forces Covenant is being delivered across the UK and Col Charlie Wallace, Deputy Commander 51 Infantry Brigade to talk about the Services’ ‘Firm Base’ network which provides a means for the Service and civilian communities lo engage.

The focus for the day is on three break-out sessions where those attending will have the opportunity to consider how Promoting the Employability of Veterans and Health and Well Being are being delivered for members of the Armed Forces and Veterans Community and how the Nation’s obligations to the Armed Forces Covenant are currently being met. Delegates will have the opportunity to discuss these important issues with many others and consider how they may be developed. The breakout sessions will be chaired by Eric Fraser, the Scottish Veterans Commissioner, by Ray Lock from Forces in Mind Trust and by Shaun Cauvin from Veterans Scotland.

Colonel Martin Gibson, Executive Chairman of Veterans Scotland who are hosting the event, said: ‘This is an excellent opportunity for Armed Forces and Veterans Champions to get together and develop their understanding of issues faced by this community as well as considering the positive skills and attitudes the community brings to Scotland.’ He added ‘Communication and Collaboration on the services that are available and an Understanding of the positive experiences that our veterans can bring to employers are crucial, the gathering will enable this to happen.’.

Ray Lock of the Forces in Mind Trust said ‘We welcome the opportunity to participate in this Gathering, and to fund it and the associated 3-year ‘Informing Scotland’ programme which comprises other, more localised gatherings.  This will allow the Trust to fulfil its recently adopted strategic role as a convenor for the first time in the UK.

Moderator signs Covenant (002)

Notes to Editors:

The Gathering takes place in Glasgow City Chambers between 09:45am and 3:30pm.

This is one of a series of Gatherings that will take place across Scotland over the next three years and is funded by The Forces in Mind Trust.

Please contact Jim Wilson by e-mailing or on 07772 945 010 should you wish to access the Gathering.

Background information on the Forces in Mind Trust is available at:   The latest research into how the Armed Forces Covenant is being delivered is in the Reports Section of that website.

Interviews can be arranged on site from 09:45am by contacting Jim Wilson.

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